The great conservative writer William Buckley once wrote a book by the title: Nearer, My God. He was reflecting, in his last years, on a life of faith. The title came from an old hymn, “Nearer My God, To Thee.”
Closeness with God matters throughout our time on earth.
The closer we are to Him — the more we pray, the more we speak to Him, the more we think of Him — the more stillness of spirit, of peace, we have.
Therein is the formula for knowing who we really are.
The closer to God we draw, the more we learn not only about Him, but about ourselves. The closer we draw to the Lord, the more we cast off those things that inhibit that closeness, the darkness that we may not even realize is there.
The closer we are to God, the more we understand our missions, our sufferings, our struggles, His plan for us.
The closer we are, the more we realize that at our core we were made pure and good and that life on earth is a test to see how much we desire that purity and goodness and how much we are able to fend off the grit of sin or purge what may be there.
Closer to Thee, oh Lord, brings us closer to the Truth, to His Presence — for that is an essence of Him. When we become closer through goodness and self-discipline of thoughts and understanding of trials, through love of His Son, and love for others, mysteries in our lives reveal themselves. We understand much of what has happened to us. And we want nothing more than to be close to Him, with direct entry upon death into Heaven.
“Don’t let unexpected events throw you off course,” said a word of knowledge to the famous locutionist Sarah Young. “Rather, respond calmly and confidently, remembering that I am with you. As soon as something grabs your attention, talk with Me about it. Thus I share your joys and your problems; I help you cope with whatever is before you. This is how I live in you and work through you. This is the way of Peace.”
It is the remedy and formula for so much: nearness to the Creator. It is closeness to the most powerful force in the universe — by far. The universe is but a small aspect of His handiwork. There are black holes said to be five million times the size of the sun, which in turn would take a million earths to fill it up. Yet, a black hole is naught next to He Who created it! A galaxy is minuscule!
This is what — Who — we have on our side, and Who will give us peace as we learn in life the true deepest self, which is larger in His eyes than the cosmos.
[resources: Michael Brown retreat 10/21, online and tape]