“In the presence of the night, I call out.  “God where are you?”  Feeling abandoned in the darkness and the stillness of the open sky, I am alone.  Unable to move out of my despair I tremble in the night. Unable to raise my head for fear of having to be aware, to change, to let go, or to be still, I ignore the brilliant star that envelops me.

I have longed for true satisfaction through materialistic and self-ego driven desires.  I have journeyed the path of self-preservation looking through the eyes of me, myself, and I and I  have judged those who have fallen to sin, let go of relationships, and I have done all of this with the refusal to turn the other cheek.  I have laughed at the meek, the simple one’s, the peacemakers, the pushovers, and the do-gooders.  I have taken the viewpoint that I am right and that there is no gray.  I have looked no further than my own eyes could see or listened beyond what my own ears could hear.  I have sipped of the sweet vine and tasted the cracked wheat, for pleasures of the flesh.  I have felt the thirst and hunger of a life that was void of spiritual awareness, humility, and service to others.

For, I have fallen to temptations along the way.   I challenged my faith, my parents, my friends, and my relationships.  I was seeking to fill the ache that I carried so deep within.  I unknowingly yearned to be in relationship with God.

Today, I am very much like the one’s that I use to make fun of.  I am the meek, the peacemaker, the do-gooder, and the pushover.  For me to come to know the sacred is experienced through the transformation of an individual through their commitment and reverence to their spiritual journey.  The spiritual journey is to live according to the belief that we are not only alive but we are consciously aware of, in touch with, and motivated by a presence of something far greater than us.

 For some the journey of faith has proven to transform not only the individual but also more profoundly their community and future generations. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it best, “The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation shall continue to live”

Ann Oswald Laird