How to miss God

St Paul’s Cathedral

Why religion can be the greatest obstacle to experiencing God

“The last experience of God is frequently the greatest obstacle to the next experience of God.” — Richard Rohr

I read the above quote from Rohr’s book Everything Belongs on the bus on the way to work. It jumped out of the page at me and felt like it slapped me around the face.

It’s just so true.

And it explains so much about religion too.

Religion tends to do a great job of building structure and systems around what God did in the past. Sadly though, it often then gets in the way of preparing people for the experience of what God might do next.

God is not tied to one way of doing things.

God is not constrained by our buildings, traditions, rules, and regulations. God is bigger than and beyond the monuments—both physical and ideological—we construct to capture our experiences of him.

How open, really, are we to God operating outside of our current religious or philosophical framework?

The Christian Scriptures are just one example of story after story of God showing up in new and surprising ways. Why on earth would we think that God has stopped doing anything new and will now only repeat how he’s operated in the past?

If we have reached the place of being sure about what God will or won’t do, or how he will or won’t do it, we can be pretty sure we’ll miss out on the next experience of God.

We need to stay open, humble, and not let religiolatry get in the way of encountering the Divine.

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