God in the Nada and Why Spiritual Directors ROCK!

The title says it all – Finding God in the Nada (Nothing) and why a Spiritual Director is the BEST gift we can give to ourselves!


Ok, so you have heard my moaning, groaning, bemoaning, wailing, complaining and crying over not getting  the house I wanted and how I feel like God has pulled the rug out from underneath me.  WEEELLLLL…..I was meeting  MY Spiritual Director (yes, even Spiritual Director’s need a Spiritual Director) and dumping the same pile of victim on top of her wise head.  I told her I was tired of sitting in this place of limbo, unable to move forward with my plans.  I want a house and I want it now, I want this divorce to move forward, I want my book to be released, I want more paid writing gigs, I want more clients and I want to start creating my new life.  I’m tired of sitting here with NOTHING happening – NO house, NO book, No divorce, No clients (literally….my calendar suddenly became TOTALLY empty!), No paid writing gigs, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING!  And this is why I LOVE my Spiritual Director – she followed up my temper tantrum over hating this place of nada with the following question:

“Lauri, can you find God in the nothing?”

SCREEEEEECH!   I felt like those hysterical women in the 1940’s dramas who are startled out of their hysteria when the “big strong man” slaps them across the face (which, by the way, I do not recommend).  What?  Finding God in the nothing?  Well…….I know it is easy to find God in the miracles – the pink sink, the affordable home, the eager contractor…..   AND  it is easy to find God in pain – God as our source of comfort, God as our source of healing, God as our source of inspiration.  But….How do I find God in the nada?


The image that surfaced when she asked me this question was one of a caterpillar resting snugly within the chrysalis WAITING to emerge as a butterfly.  To the naked eye, it appears that nothing is happening.  It appears that the caterpillar is simply taking a nap and that it will someday emerge….as a caterpillar.  AH…..but in truth, there is DEEP and PROFOUND transformation taking place….IN  THE  NADA!  Nothing is happening…..and yet…..PROFOUND change is taking place….and not just any sort of change…but a change that is MAGNIFICENT and DEFIES LOGIC.


So…..How can I find God in the Nada?  It seems that this is perhaps the biggest leap of faith that I have ever been invited to take.  Can I find God in this space of seemingly nothing?  Can I trust that God is at work in a deep, silent, profound place where it appears that nothing is happening….but perhaps something is?  HHHHMMMMM  I don’t know.  But then the answer came……How can I find God in the nada?  The answer in a nutshell is:  IN THE PRESENT MOMENT.


Duh….God is present in one place and one place only – THE PRESENT MOMENT.  Can I get out of my list of grievances from the past and out of my daydreaming and planning about the future and BE HERE NOW?  Can I enjoy the presence of my children?  Can I appreciate the beauty of autumn?  Can I be grateful for a time to pause, reflect, pray, meditate.  Can I be present to my own need for healing, comfort, silence?  Can I recognize that perhaps my clients disappeared because I don’t have the emotional energy to be present to others in that way (right now anyway) as I face my own grief, fear, etc.  Can I just be here now and find the peace of God, the compassion of God and the embrace of God in this time of NADA?  Well, all I can do is try.



So today, I thank my Spiritual Director for metaphorically slapping me across the face and startling me out of my victim tirade to be present to the more important question at hand – Can I find God in the Nada?

To whom do you turn for support, guidance, presence in your own Spiritual Journey?

What is your typical response to times of Nothing, Limbo, when there is seemingly nothing happening?

How do you find God in the Nada?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com



8 thoughts on “God in the Nada and Why Spiritual Directors ROCK!

  1. That’s good stuff on the Nada. Most Christians haven’t been taught to seek God in the nothing. They want loud music blaring and louder teachers shouting, then too often complain God isn’t speaking to them!!

    In my book Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes: Removing Religion to Find Relationship, I address some of this in a chapter called “When God Alone Is Enough (Isolation).” The following is from the beginning of the chapter

    “If God has called you to any type of leadership position in His Church, He may also call you to spend time alone with Him, away from ministry. This is NOT because He is mad at you, but because He loves you so much He does not want you in the game without all the proper equipment and the knowledge of how to use it.
    If God calls you into a time of isolation away from ministry, your first question, quite naturally, will be, “What did I do wrong?” I’m here to tell you that you have done nothing wrong. God is simply saying, “Hi. I’m God and you are not. I love you and I want to spend some quality time with you. I’m your Lover and I want to pursue you and be pursued by you (try reading Song of Solomon with this theme in mind. It is very beautiful and encouraging). I’m calling you away to Me so that you can be everything I’ve created you to be. Don’t fight it. Relax. I’m in charge. You are in My perfect will for your life.”

    Here’s to enjoying the journey with Nada but God.

    Blessings,

    Jim

    • Dear Jim,
      THANK YOU so much for the ministry connection! Having worked with many Catholic pastors in the past, this was something that I observed as absent in most of their lives – time to simply be with God. As such, this is something I have made a commitment to maintain in my own life. It appears however, that I have not been making ENOUGH time. So, I surrender to God’s invite to simply be!

      Thank you also for the Song of Solomon connection. I have been praying the Song of Solomon in recent weeks/months and love God’s invitation to us to be the Beloved of the Divine. SUBLIME! (I also recently got a tattoo of “I am the Beloved and the Beloved is mind” – funny how God is now inviting me to put my money where my mouth is so to speak!)

      In gratitude and blessing,
      Lauri

  2. Lauri, YOU Rock. I love your commentary on the Nada, being present, and being real. You are amazing and inspirational and you bless so many lives daily, including mine. Breathing love into your chrysalis…being reminded that the human journey is surrounded in Divine LIGHT. Blessings, Kari

  3. Yes!!!! Thank you ,thank you ,thank you to both of you!!!The most gracefilled,peaceful truth to peace,joy ,contentment,freedom and LOVE. We can embrace all of life right now and breathe and rest.
    The answer is in the nutshell(acorn).Lovely!!!
    We all ROCK!!

  4. I hope you don’t think I’m a Catholic pastor. I was an Assemblies of God minister who lived in a monastic community (as a monk) for four years. Even maintained my credentials with the Assemblies of God the whole time. I’m now ordained with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and pastor in Kansas. The book I wrote is about the lessons I learned as a monk.

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Blessings,

    Jim

    • No, I did not think you were a Catholic pastor. I read your bio, etc. before replying. I was just making reference to how challenging it can be for people in ministry to honor the need to be alone with God and that in my experience, Catholic Pastors are the worst at honoring this invitation. (not to mention it is not even a part of the formation of diocesan priests. SAD!)

      Sorry if I offended you! ;)

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