There’s a country song that talks about “Looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in too many faces.” The same lament could just as easily be applied to our relationship with God. Too often we look for God in all the wrong places.
Why are we so quick to look outside of ourselves for answers rather than look within? For instance, we hope that being with other people will resolve our loneliness, that the right mate will “complete” us, or that a certain religion or spiritual school will take us to God’s doorstep. Sometimes these things are part of our path to God, but they are never the whole path, nor can they be. This is because your path to God is designed to be a very personal, individual journey.
Perhaps we look outside of ourselves to find God because it is easier than looking within. A ready-made answer requires less work than struggling to discover your own answer. And the societal solution is often less demanding than the solution that flows from the creative energy of your own moral dilemmas. Sadly, organized religion and other spiritual groups can help you run from God as much or more than they help you find God. When it comes to the path of God, there may be others on the river, but everyone has their own canoe.
When we are looking for God we don’t often peer into our soul. Maybe we are not sure we want that level of intimacy, immediacy, or responsibility. We want someone else to hand us the rules of life. Or, perhaps we feel safer when God is just a concept rather than a living, dynamic force in our lives. When it comes to God, each of us must give our own, authentic response.