“Can Heaven be a place on Earth?”
What began as an interesting question became a quest to: 1. learn what people of various faiths and backgrounds believe about Heaven, 2. to learn how we are connected in our needs, hopes, and values, and 3. to find a way to connect these concepts with life in the present moment, right here on Earth. What resulted was a compilation of concepts about Heaven from a variety of religious faiths and philosophies. From that list I was able to identify seven meaningful characteristics of Heaven that we could strive to accomplish living on Earth…
6. Spiritual Connection with God
It can be difficult to think about having a connection with someone we can not see with our eyes, or, with our voices and hearing, have a two-way conversation. Whether we communicate face-to-face or on the phone, by text or by email, we think of connection with others as mutual and direct. We also expect others to identify themselves as we identify ourselves to them. This is a difficult proposition when we consider what it means to connect with God. In our diversity of faith traditions, we have many different names and concepts to describe “god”. While some of us refer to this mysterious entity as God or Jehovah, others use the name Allah or Great Spirit or the Creator, or Yahweh, and so on. And some of us believe in more than one god. Yet others of us do not use a name but consider the existence of a higher power or Universal Force. Whoever or whatever we believe in, without the ability to directly observe this presence or presences we acknowledge, we can be left to wonder about how God (to simplify, we’ll use one name while considering all names or concepts) is able to connect with us and if we can really connect with God.
Sometimes connection does not have to be direct, and sometimes observation can be made without using the five senses. Consider for a moment that our world, our lives, and all blessings we receive are evidence of God’s love for us. This is not God speaking to us in a voice heard with ears, but it is God “speaking” nevertheless. We are a reflection of God’s love made manifest. How can we not have a connection with God when God is connected with us in everything we experience and in everything we hope and dream to do? Our very lives our supported by God through inspiration and in connection with everyone and all God creates. The family and friends who enrich your life and walk with you in your life journey are given to you by God. Their words and encouragement come to you through the connection God has with them. Think about it: to survive the passage from the moment of your conception to the hour of your birth is a miracle in itself, and evidence of God’s support of your very life.
You may wonder, “While God is connecting with me, how is it possible for me to connect with God?”. When we take time to reflect on our blessings and give thanks, we make a spiritual connection with God. When we observe life in a spirit of mindfulness, we make a spiritual connection with God. When we demonstrate love for others and God’s creations, we build a spiritual connection with God. When we ask God for help in prayer and we open our minds and hearts to receive help, we are making a spiritual connection with God. We can find ways to tune in to God by restoring ourselves through relaxation and meditation. We can find the way to connecting with God in our conscious monitoring of our breath, knowing that we are alive and that we are here for a purpose. When we connect with God, we discover ways to make connections with our world and all the love and goodness that is there for us to give and to receive. Heaven on Earth is guided by our spiritual connection with God.
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