Close to God
During worship at our national United Methodist Foundation meeting in October, the worship leader asked us to go to a round table, light a candle, and place it on the table. We were asked to place the candle in a position that indicated how close we felt to God at that time - closer to the center of the table equaled closer to God.
It was an interesting exercise to watch. One would never be able to guess ahead of time how close a candle would be placed to the center. For one thing, it's a relative question. How close I feel to God is dependent upon how close I've felt to God in the past, and how close I think I should feel. But the point isn't to compete - my candle is closer to the center than yours - the point is to think about the question. Where would you place the candle? Is the candle placed where you want it to be? Where God wants it to be? What's the next step for you to take?
Also, we think we know people. We might look at a person and judge how close they are to God. Our judgments about that kind of thing aren't realistic at all. We might think someone is close to God, but that person doesn't experience it - or vice versa.
It was beautiful to see all of the candles on the table. The light filled the space, and reminds me, as I think about it, that God is close to all of us, whether we "feel" it or not. "Moving closer" to God is really just opening ourselves up to the grace that is already there.