It was a snowy afternoon, and our bookstore was empty, so I took advantage of the quietness to peruse the book-shelves looking for some inspiration. I stumbled across a tiny book called The Human Condition, by Thomas Keating.
“Where are you?” The book begins by quoting God’s question to Adam and Eve after they had eaten from the forbidden tree and tried to hide from God. Keating points out that “This marvelous story of creation is not just about Adam and Eve. It is really about us. It is a revelation of where we are. The same question is addressed to every generation, time, and person. At every moment of our lives, God is asking us, ‘Where are you? Why are you hiding?’ All the questions that are fundamental to human happiness arise when we ask ourselves this excruciating question.”
Every day I wrestle to ask God “Where are you, God?” — in this painful situation, in this unresolved relationship, in this loneliness I feel inside…..I mutter “where are you, now, God?” But maybe I’m asking the wrong question. The Genesis story reminds me God is always first looking for me. I think Keating is quite right: the difficult question we need to face, is “where am I?”