Is there a connection between the amount of distractions in our lives and our inability to hear God?
Did these words, which Jesus had spoken just a day earlier, ring in the ears of the disciples? In their confusion and grief, did they remember with a sense of bitter irony the moment when Jesus had said them so reassuringly to Thomas?
Growing up after that experience, along with the many other Sabbatarian practices I witnessed in my youth, I began to feel like honoring Sunday was a bit of a guessing game. I didn’t know which activities made God angry and which ones didn’t.
What is the true result of a God-pleasing fast? Personal piety? Outward signs of humility? Merit and recognition from God and others? No. The true result of a God-pleasing fast is justice, equity and freedom, both physically and spiritually, amongst humankind.
Is there a preferable posture when we pray—kneeling, standing, flat on the floor? Hands folded, hands lifted up? Eyes closed or open? What kind of language are we supposed to use? What are we supposed to pray about?
It seems to me that this distinction between knowing about and knowing relationally applies to more than just the nonhuman creation (or nature, if you will). It also applies to our relationships with others, with ourselves and with God.