On Sunday, while I waited for the meeting in the Temple to begin, I began writing about that specific moment. How can you remain in “spirit of prayer” for an hour or two? As I took the tour of the Temple with the newspaper team, I noticed that absolutely everything has a meaning. Nothing is there by chance or by accident. Everything is symbolic, because this is the language of God, just as it has always been. This was when I realized I should pay attention to absolutely everything, from the time I stepped through the gates, so I could understand what God wanted to say to me.
I usually enter the Temple as soon as the gates open. This is, about two hours before the meeting. Two hours without my phone or tablet, in silence, in a place with minimal lighting. To many, this may sound like torture. If you don’t pay attention, your mind will travel far away from the Temple and you’ll start thinking about e-mails, work, family, etc.
Keep this in mind: you are in the Temple. This is your chance to listen to God speak to your spirit in a powerful way, which can instantaneously resolve many important things inside of you. Are you going to let this opportunity go to waste? It is foolish to travel such a long way to get here and not take advantage.
I remain in my seat, praying, writing, reading the Bible or one of our books (even though its a low-lit environment). If you look at the waiting time before the meeting as a chance to prepare to meet with the love of your life, the greatest Authority in the Universe, I assure you, you will not feel sleepy or anxious for not having all your gadgets.
When you are willing to listen to God, He speaks. In everything, He speaks. It’s as if you are constantly receiving SMS messages from the Holy Spirit with instructions on how to assemble the puzzle that brought you to Church. I was tired and the following message appeared on the screen: “But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15.7 – and my strength was immediately renewed. Then a rich, green landscape surrounded by a desert came on the screen. This made me realize that God was also there, in the middle of nowhere, He knows this place. He knows where I am, the situation that is troubling me.
Another image appeared on the screen, this time it was a solitary tree growing on a mountainside, against all odds. There didn’t seem to be much land there. It looked fragile, with its narrow trunk. But it continued to grow. Green and sturdy. This is how I am as well, with my roots in the Rock. May the Temple never let me forget such things.
I am that solitary tree on the mountain. I am a drop of water in that sea. I am a grain of sand on that beach, and one of the leaves in that forest. I am loved and cherished by the One who made those rocks, those trees, those rivers. Those places, which seem enormous to me, are so small before Him. All those stars and landscapes bow before His beauty and strength. In the middle of the ice, in the desert heat, in the wind, in the clouds, in the sun, in the stars, in the rocks… everywhere in nature, we can see His hand, His glory.
From the greatest things to the smallest grain of sand. When He called Abraham, He said: “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.” Genesis 13.16 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be”. Genesis 15.5
God made the same comparison with two completely different things: stars are immense and dust is miniscule. However, since God is far superior to anything that exists in this universe, these things are equivalent to Him. A star is as small as a grain of dust and a grain of dust is as big as a star. This is why it is written:
For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”. Isaiah 57.15
Size and distance do not limit Him. For God, they are both the same size and the same importance. Therefore, why wouldn’t He care about me? He chose to care. He chose to make us participants of His glory. The least we can do is reciprocate this choice. We will always be in debt. We can never give Him anything, because everything comes from His hands. But He has given us the privilege of honoring Him with what He gave us. Our life, our work, our body, our choices, our money, our time. Everything we call “ours”, but comes from Him.
I am writing all of this while I wait for the meeting to begin. Because I chose to listen to Him, He speaks to me even before the Bishop walks onto the Altar. And He continues to speak, through the Word, the music, the prayers and the offering. The peace of those landscapes is actually in me. The lamps on the walls remind me that I should always keep my fire lit. The Ark behind the veil waits for the right time to be seen. The torn veil gives us access to Salvation.
I want to shake those who are sleeping. “Awake, you who sleep, and Christ will give you light.” You should want to be enlightened. If you decide to make your trip to the Temple special, you will take advantage of every moment you are there. God is there. He uses even the most unlikely moments to speak to us when our focus is on Him. The problems in my head became miniscule as I meditated on the greatness of God, and I understood what He expected of me: never leave the Temple. Not the physical building, because at the end of the meeting I would have to leave (even if I didn’t want to, I think there would be a bit of a problem with the security team if I insisted on not leaving the premises), but from that environment of fear, reverence and trust. And, because I am the Temple of the Holy Spirit, I understand how I should be when I look at the Temple. And as I look at the Ark, I understand where my heart should be.
When the veil was torn opened and the Ark appeared, it was as if a portal opened. I had prepared myself and therefore, was able to enter. In the middle of the meeting, the Bishop showed a picture of the universe… and, as I looked at the galaxies, I realized that my meditation on the greatness of God needed a little upgrade. Someone who considers dust and galaxies to be the same size certainly expects me to see everything with the same perspective. The next time you enter the Temple, think about this privilege. Honestly, with all this, my smartphone didn’t even cross my mind…