During troubled times we often look for solace, guidance and inspiration. We seek a ray of hope and wisdom that transcends time as we look for answers amid the chaotic world unfolding around us. When we encounter an experience like living through the recent pandemic, it shakes our foundation and sends us on a deeper quest within. As life’s daily routines are swept away in a sea of change, we begin to look for meaning and comfort in this journey of ours.
There are so many newly minted ‘thought leaders’ out there who coin a new catchphrase and try to draw you in to purchase their latest seminar. Yet, when you listen to them carefully, you understand there is something missing in what they have to say. True wisdom is very rare, and when you encounter it you feel the resonance of the words deep within. Although he was born over 1600 years ago, St. Augustine of Hippo is one luminary whose wisdom still lights the way. His words transcend time, speaking directly to our hearts and illuminating our souls along the way.
Our Connection with the Divine
As we live our earthly lives, most of us find ourselves seeking a deeper connection with the Divine. There’s almost a magnetic attraction, a yearning that we seek to fulfill. St. Augustine spoke about this journey very eloquently. He said “to fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement”.
If you talk to someone who has gone on the quest to find oneness with the Divine, you may hear an incredible story of the journey. It is the greatest romance, and Sufi poets and sages recognized this by calling it the yearning for their Beloved. Seeking the One is the grand adventure and achievement, going beyond the epic quests that were immortalized in fable and folklore.
Creating in Partnership with the Divine
Life can really be a struggle at times as we seek to move forward in the earthly realm. Sometimes we don’t really know where we want to go or what we came here to do. Other times we are aware of our soul purpose but just don’t know how to proceed. When we find ourselves lost in the fray, it is time to turn it over to God and partner with the Divine.
Saint Augustine was well aware of the mission we are on. He spoke of the essential partnership between us and the Divine when it comes to creating and moving forward in the world. He said “God provides the wind, Man must raise the sail”. It’s helpful to keep this adage in mind when you begin your journey along the path of your life and soul purpose. Ask God for the wind, the energy, and then do your part by hoisting your sail, by moving forward to make your dream come true.
The Teachings of God in our Natural World
So many of us treasure our books, and have learned so much from them. We look for answers there and come to discover new ways of thinking as authors help us understand new ideas and expand our ways of seeing the world. When we focus solely on books, though, St. Augustine notes we miss perhaps the grandest teaching and source of illumination, the natural world.
He said “Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, who you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?” If you want to experience God, simply go outside and see the wonders of our world, the sacred symphony of creation.