These days, with the world being as busy as it is, it is often hard to sit down for just a few moments to relax and pass the time with a hobby.
With work or school demands, an endless to-do list at home, family commitments or finally squeezing in some time to hang out with friends, it seems any limited opportunity a person has can easily be spent on a cell phone, checking or updating a social media profile, or on the couch, watching part of a television show or playing a video game to distract us from reality.
It could strike you as strange that a person today would actually sit down and read a book, complete a puzzle or play a good old-fashioned game of cards.
With the advance of technology today, I wonder how common it is for people to even sit down at their kitchen table and work on a crossword puzzle.
Sure, looking at the crossword puzzle in the newspaper may not be as exciting as combing through random pictures on Instagram or posting your every thought on Twitter for your friends to follow. Yet, it could be far more educational and gratifying in the end.
And who knows – you might even discover God along the way.
You see, in the midst of all of those tiny squares stacked horizontally and vertically, God is hidden and available just as much as the answers we’d find in the next day’s newspaper. The only glitch is, similar to the answers for a crossword puzzle, we have to find Him.
We are certainly blessed to have God reveal Himself through regular hints along our journey, as each day, God is present around us (albeit in mysterious ways).
Perhaps He speaks to us through a stranger at a bus stop, or a baby laughing, or the wind blowing.
In His unique way of whispering instead of shouting, God can also reveal Himself through a phone call from a friend at that precise moment when we are feeling down and hopeless.
We can also find God in any number of other ways, such as an ad for a job when we are in dire need of employment, through an item on sale when we so desperately wanted to buy it for a while but just couldn’t afford it, or when we stumble upon something important we had misplaced a short while ago.
Most definitely, we can find God when He is disguised as a person who is homeless, hungry, imprisoned or needing clothing, as described in the seven corporal works of mercy. (Matthew 25:31-46)
Whatever the experience, God is available through daily hints in our lives just like answers available through clues in a crossword puzzle.
But just as God is always with and around us, it is up to us to approach and grow with Him.
As much as completing a crossword puzzle is no fun if all of the answers are provided for us or if the clues are overly simple, seeing God present in our daily lives should not be so effortless, either.
While our Lord offers His unconditional love to us freely, we are still called to seek in order to find, to ask in order to receive. (Luke 11:9-10)
The challenge, then, must remain to explore and discover God for ourselves while sharing Him with others. In so doing, we may develop and appreciate God’s gifts and presence in our everyday living, rather than taking God for granted and never evolving as individuals.
In applying this conduct, we may not just see God through horizontal clues, but also discover with Him new and abundant blessings and life horizons.