brian j plachta
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Where's Waldo? Where's God?
by brian j plachta on November 29th, 2019

When my children were young, we loved to read Where’s Waldo books. The Waldo character, with his red-striped stocking cap, splashed across each page, hidden in a montage of cars and trucks, skyscrapers and houses, people and places. When we spotted Waldo, we’d point to him, laugh, and say, “There’s Waldo!”

I wonder if we can find God the way children find Waldo. If we look closely among the splash of people and events of each day and ask, “Where’s God?” we might glimpse the Creator’s presence. We might see the Divine fingerprint everywhere—and on everything.

Find the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

We tend to look for God in the grand and spectacular—someone’s cure from cancer, the birth of a child. But most of our lives are filled with ordinary moments and routines—drinking coffee, reading a book, driving to work. These everyday experiences can become so familiar they lose significance. And when we see nothing extraordinary in them, we also fail to see God’s presence.

Belden Lane writes in Landscapes of the Sacred, “God meets us where we are….God masks the Holy in the ordinary.”

What if, like looking for Waldo, we trained our eyes to search for God? Perhaps frequently asking, “Where’s God?” might awaken us to the Holy Presence all around us—and even within us.

Everyday chores like washing dishes become a litany of gratitude as we thank God for the gift of our hands and clean water flowing from the tap.

The “ho-hum” becomes “Wow!” The “whatever” changes to “Oh, my God!” The drudgery of daily work shifts to a humble “Thank you, Creator, for the gift of life.”

By asking, “Where’s God?” throughout the day, we reclaim childlike curiosity. We discover the extraordinary in the ordinary. We realize the simple act of opening our eyes each morning is a Divine gift.

“God Surprises”

We can’t move through every moment of the day with awe because we’d never get beyond brushing our teeth. But there are moments when God surprises us.

A white-tailed deer bounces across a field, unmasking God’s beauty. A child’s warm hug radiates Infinite Love. A stranger opening a door for us becomes the Creator’s loving hands. In each enchanted moment, our hearts exclaim, “There’s God!”

Which Lens Do We Choose?

Finding Waldo reminds us there are two lenses through which we can observe our lives. One lens is the ordinary: that’s nice; whatever; I don’t see God. The other is the extraordinary: Wow!; that’s amazing; I see God in everything.

We choose the lens—the level of consciousness—through which we experience our lives. We can ghost lifelessly through the ordinary moments or we can view every good thing as an unmasking of the Holy.

It’s fun to ask, “Where’s Waldo?” If we desire to find Divine Presence in each day, we might ask a deeper question, “Where’s God

—brian j plachta

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