Archbishop Desmond Tutu on 'Made For Goodness'

We yearn for God, yet we feel lost on the way to our own hearts. We want to live lives of goodness. We long for a teacher and adviser close enough to speak the words of wisdom to guide us. Who is this teacher, this adviser? Many can help us along the way, but in the end it is only God whose advice we really need to hear. But how can we reach God? How can we hear what God has to say to us? God may seem distant and inaccessible. Sometimes we stop hearing the voice of God in our lives. And sometimes, though we hear God's voice, God seems not to speak our language.

In this book we will share how we have learned to talk with God. More importantly, we will tell you how we have heard God speak to us. We will offer some ways you can tune yourself to God's frequency, some ways to understand God's language, ways to listen and hear God's words of guidance for your own life. Ultimately, what stirs us most deeply is what is life giving. What is soul stirring, what is life giving, is of God. We are made for God, who is the giver of life. We are made by God, who holds us in life.

We are animated and held in life by the very breath of God. It is God's breath that sustains us. Let us turn again to the book of Genesis, this time to the second creation story. As the mother of a young child for whom puddles and mud are current wonders, Mpho is always captivated by the image in the second creation story. In that narrative we can almost see God playing in the dirt and creating from the dust the earth being, Adam. And we watch God blowing the breath of life, God's own breath, into this first human.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up -- for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground -- then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. (Gen. 2:4–7)

We who are human are being kept in being by the very breath of God from moment to moment. Each moment is a choice of God. If God stopped, even for the fraction of a second, from upholding us, from breathing God's breath into us, we would disintegrate. Which is an incredible statement about God; because God does that even for the ones that we call bad people, evil people. God is as intimate with them as God is intimate with the most saintly. There is not a single person that God gives up on, because God knows that we are made to be like God, who is goodness itself. This is not only a faith claim. It is a scientific fact. Science testifies that goodness is a survival strategy. God created us to depend on each other for our very lives.

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