The Divine is in the Details

December 2, 2018
Let’s talk about The Divine. If you use God, Allah, The Universe, Mother Nature or any other name, I want to talk about them. Rob Bell came out with a podcast not too long ago called Leviticus, Lebron James, and the Concretization of the Ideal. I point this out because the episode deconstructs the book of Leviticus which is filled with rules and regulations and is therefore probably one of the least red books ever. Hours and hours of thoughts on how to properly make a sacrifice doesn’t sound like a great Sunday afternoon to me. However, what Rob Bell points out in this episode was something that I had felt in my bones for so long and never had the words to describe it. The Divine is in the details. The little things matter. And while we don’t need to get hung up on these little things, it doesn’t mean that they still aren’t important. Take Lebron James, if you asked him what kind of socks he played in he wouldn’t respond with “Oh, I don’t know, white ones?” He would know every detail about those socks because they make a difference. This small detail has influence.

In my new favorite show, Queer Eye, when the Fab Four get to a new house, they look at all the details that have been forgotten. The house is a pit, the food is terrible, manners have been lost, the homeowner is in desperate need of a haircut and some new clothes. All of these things seem so inconsequential and yet at the end of every show we see what an impact they make. That by paying attention to these details we gain confidence and momentum. We feel like we can take on the world.

Just as Leviticus was revealing the details that The Divine was in, the small routines that we have in our own lives do the same. It’s in these details that we have structure and control. In a time where we feel like we are out of control we gain the slightest bit of control again, and maybe, with the confidence of having some control, we can begin to take back our lives. By having some power we can see that we aren’t helpless, that The Divine is all around us, supporting us and showing us the beauty in these small things; making the bed, creating a simple beauty routine, appreciating the outfit we have on, emptying the dishwasher, sitting down to eat our meals, eating high-quality foods and so on.

There is, of course, the other end to the spectrum, just like there always is. Getting lost in the details. There are times of my life that I get obsessed with perfection, where I can’t appreciate the image in the mirror and lose sight of The Divine in me. I get caught up in the details of having the perfect outfit of not being pretty enough because all of this is not adding up to me being good enough. It all comes back to my basic fear. Just as those on the makeover shows have lost sight of the Divine by not paying attention to the details, I have lost sight by only seeing the details, by getting stuck on them. Both sides come from a place of scarcity. And that indeed is where the root of all our misery is coming from.

Scarcity. A belief that there isn’t enough. That we are not enough.

I have lived much of my life in this place. My anxiety attacks, stress, and fears all becoming way too comfortable in this house that I have built for them. But as I pay attention to the details without getting stuck on them, I have started finding a new home in abundance. You may recall a blog post I wrote about my thanksgiving journal; A place where I write down all the details of things I’m grateful for. In that practice, I’ve found peace and joy. In finding gratitude for the details, for The Divine, I have found abundance.

So yes, the foods we put in our body are essential, and yes feeling confident in your skin is important, and yes making your bed will make a difference, but on top of all those things it’s the gratitude in the details that will make you feel the most alive. It’s the gratitude that will wake you up and appreciate all you have. It’s finding The Divine in the smallest of things because that’s where The Divine lives. Not in big grandeur things, not screaming to get your attention, but in the details, like a whisper. That abundance and beauty doesn’t need to shout. Eventually, you’ll see it.

 

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