Though not the original source of this thought, the quote has gained some renown from the book and movie Eat Pray Love.
I find this simple sentence as hopeful as any I've ever heard. Simple, yet terribly complex. The idea of God is, I think, beyond complete comprehension. The sheer number of books, movies, documentaries, theologians, spiritualists, religions, etc., attest to this as well.
If God were simple, then we'd all have the same beliefs, wouldn't we?
God dwells within you, as you. What a relief that is. I no longer have to try to be someone else, to emulate someone else's journey. Nor do I need to apologize for being more or less that someone else. I still firmly believe that God wants us to be the best we can be, to contribute to the world, to treat each other with respect and to treat ourselves with respect. I just no longer think there is only one way, one path to achieve our best.
The definition of what is best is as unique and varying as the people who contemplate it. I also think that what is right for you now may or may not be right for you a decade later. As we change and grow and see what this wide world has to offer, our desires, hopes, and dreams change. Some things may remain the same for a lifetime, while others differ day to day. I feel as though there are no wrong choices, there are only choices, each with varying degrees of 'rightness'.
What I do know, with certainty is that you and I know when the choice is not right for us; we feel it, we hear the proverbial 'little voice'. Sometimes, that voice is so faint we mistake it for something else, but I believe that voice is God. So, God dwelling within us, guides us to the choices that are right-est for us at the moment we have a decision to make.
If we were talking about shirts, nearly everyone would be able to relate and to agree with this idea. No shirt is right for every single person. What if you don't like pink and pink is my absolute favorite color? Yes! We all get that.
But the minute we begin discussing God, religion, belief, spirituality... well, let's just say that it's more difficult to find consensus. Luckily, I'm not interested in finding consensus. I've discovered the joy in letting each person be who they need to be.
I believe that God is dwelling within me, as me. I also believe that God is dwelling with you, as you. Seeing God in those around me doesn't stop them from shocking, irritating or disgusting me - I am human after all. The person who cut me off, or the one who tells me way too much information, or the one who is insulting on purpose, when I look for God in them it allows me to imagine what might lead a person to make the choices they make. It allows me to more easily release my negative reactions. Understanding is forgiveness.
Anyone who read the post of a few days ago "Making a Pearl" might think I haven't been seeing God in everyone. What can I say? I'm humanly imperfect, but since God chose to dwell in me, there must be a reason and so I keep working on it. These internal conflicts are part of the paradox that is humanity and is what makes us so very interesting.
I hope this Monday finds you hopeful.