Have courage for the great sorrows of life,
and patience for the small ones.
When you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks,
go to sleep in peace.
God is awake.
“God is awake”. Only someone like Victor Hugo could make that happy phrase! A poet. In my view, poets are the guardians of and the voice of the Mystery … and as such they are invaluable to any society and culture.
The concept of “God” is essential to any healthy human society … whether it is a “religious” concept or a philosophical or metaphysical or mystical one. Remember, “God” is not a human being. God is a “spirit, without body, parts, or passions” (in the phraseology of the Anglican “Articles of Religion”). God has no gender … and I am committed to affirming this truth as I think it would greatly expand our concept of “God”.
Allow me to tell you what I think Mr. Hugo was saying.
We have a Life to live. We awake each morning to it … if we do. But if we do … and there is no guarantee … our lives have many tasks. Eat. Share food. Do our work. Anchor ourselves in Compassion. Offer our love and generosity to each one we meet. See the anxiety or the joy in the eyes of those we meet. Feed the hungry, tend the sick, comfort those in pain or loss. Remember how completely we are loved … and pass it on.
Do you think you are unconditionally loved? Do you think you are valued? I believe that such knowledge is what each and every one of us needs to know in order to face down fear and anxiety and take the risks to live our lives fully in Love.
This is how “God” works. God is the great Mystery of Life itself … and Life reverberates in the core of every atom of our being. Any religion that is authentic will sense and reach out to this Presence. “God” is not a tyrant. As Hugo understood, “God” is in the simple reality of Being. Religion that “works” will teach us this.
Go to sleep in peace tonight. If you awake tomorrow, the mystery we call God will ask you to walk the path of Life.
Yes … we know not how. But. God is Awake. Let is not be asleep.