Divine, Give and Receive Love, Journey of Life, Know God, Nature Awareness School, Our Father, Peace, Spiritual Retreats, Virginia
This testimony highlights the fulfillment of a prayer in the heart of a seven year old who wanted to know God in this lifetime. Years later she found the deep peace she had been looking for through developing an active relationship with the Divine. She did this with the tools learned and the personal experiences she had at the Nature Awareness School. She now knows that most of our experiences in life can be boiled down to either giving or receiving love and that “Our Father” can truly live in our hearts. Enjoy!
The other day my spiritual teacher asked me “why should we care about God?” His question took me back in time to some memories. As a seven-year-old I asked my mom to explain the Holy Trinity. Despite her loving efforts to help me understand, I did not. Yet it was clear to me at that moment I wanted to know God in this lifetime.
With many mixed experiences being raised in a mainstream religion, I had an experience that stayed in my heart in a very positive way. Attending Sunday school the teacher was absent so a nun came to teach that day. She spoke to us of the Lord’s Prayer. She shared that when she prayed the words “Our Father”, she often could not go any further in the prayer. Those few words could give her hours of contemplation time. I felt her love and reverence for God and prayer. Being passive, I did not ask questions or pursue how one could contemplate on two words from the Lord’s Prayer. I only knew how to recite the words with little clue to their meaning. I was a teenager at that time and learned that it was the last year our church would offer Sunday school to teens due to a lack of interest. I was sad with that news but did nothing to pursue my options. Yet God spoke to my heart that day. A seed of love in my heart was watered reminding me that I wanted to know God in this lifetime, and that at least this one nun had a clue how to know “Our Father”. She had a deep peace about her which I lacked, yet I could feel peace in her presence. I wanted peace of heart too.
Back to the question… why should we care about God? The question caused me to wonder what does it mean to care about God, and how does one express they care about God? I have been blessed in numerous experiences over the past 20 years at the Nature Awareness School to learn in a very personal manner how to find answers to those questions for myself. I have been given many practical tools and methods to use which help me in all areas of life. I have learned through experience that God loves me and shows an interest in every aspect of my life. Through this active process I know that God’s essence, divine spirit is always with me. In this growing relationship with God, divine spirit is teaching me that life is about giving and receiving love.
Recently I helped another to express love by asking a friend to pick a few things up for me from the store as I was not feeling well. In the past I would not have asked for another’s help so readily. I have learned that it is not selfish to ask for help when it is needed. In a way it is selfish not to ask for help. Accepting help allows God’s love to come into our lives through others. It turned out my friend had prayed to be a blessing to another that day. She told me I had more than answered her prayer and asked if she could help in any other way. She was so happy that I accepted help with setting up a CD player so I could watch movies and relax.
Life is filled with God’s love expressed in the day to day events of life. It is so uplifting to see the hand of God working in my life. I have learned through experience that God hears our prayers and is ever present in our lives. “Our Father” now lives in my heart and it brings me peace.
Written by Ann Atwell