I want to find God

By Paulo Coelho

The man arrived at the monastery exhausted:

– I have been looking for God for so long – he said. – Perhaps you can teach me the right way of finding Him.

– Enter and see our convent – said the priest, taking him by the hand and leading him to the chapel. – Here are some fine works of art of the 16th century, which portray the life of the Lord, and His glory among men.

The man waited, while the priest explained each one of the beautiful paintings and sculptures which adorned the chapel.
Afterwards, he repeated the question:

– Everything you showed me is very beautiful. But I’d like to learn the best way to find God.

– God! – replied the priest. – You said exactly that: God!

And he took the man to the refectory, where supper was being prepared for the monks.

– Look around: soon supper will be served, and you are invited to dine with us. You will be able to listen to the Scriptures, while you satisfy your hunger.

– I am not hungry, and I have already read the entire Scriptures – insisted the man. – I wish to learn. I have come here to find God.

Again the priest took the stranger by the hand and they began walking around the cloisters which encircled a lovely garden.

– I ask my monks to always keep the grass cut, and to remove the dry leaves from the fountain you see over there in the middle. I think this must be the best kept monastery in the whole region.

The stranger walked with the priest a short way, then excused himself, saying he must be leaving.

– Won’t you stay for supper? asked the priest.

As he mounted his horse, the stranger spoke:

– Congratulations on your fine church, your welcoming refectory and the perfectly clean courtyard. But I have journeyed many leagues just in order to learn to find God, and not to marvel at efficiency, comfort and discipline.

A flash of lightening struck, the horse reared up and the earth shook. Suddenly, the strange man removed his disguise, and the priest saw that it was Jesus.

– God is wherever He is invited in – said Jesus. – But you have closed the doors of this monastery to Him, with rules, pride, wealth, ostentation. The next time a stranger comes asking to find God, do not show him what you have managed in His name: listen to the question, and try to answer with love, charity and simplicity.

And so saying, He disappeared.

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  1. Pegarus says:

    I like Murphy’s Law.

  2. Smirre says:

    Well said Murphy. I have a question though guys. Does this mean we should all follow the principles left to us and sell our things for charity, be servants to servants? Coz thats what this comes down to…
    Somehow I don’t know anyone who’s doing that right now. And to tell the truth, I find the concept hard to grasp.

  3. tom murphy says:

    God is not a force. He is a person who obviously has feelings. His feelings are none but love. The Bible, the Jewish scriptures @ the Koran all teach and express that God is love and desires love in return. Why do people blame God for all the troubles & problems in the world? It is the human race that has caused suffering and pain upon our brothers & sisters. It’s extremely unfortunate that we blame Him for all of our problems when we know damb well that we are the ones who choose our own destiny. Hitler, Stalin & the other warped minded individuals who have corrupted the human race, have influenced generations for years to come. Jesus Christ is the epitomy of God’s love for each & every person who has ever or who will ever live. His self sacrifice & love for God & His lost brothers & sisters in this world can never be compared with any other so called religious leader. What this world is looking for is self gratification, but Christ stated the only way to self satisfaction is through God himself. Jesus said himself “what does it profit a person if they gain the whole world yet lose their soul?” As far as God being one who truly cares for us? What about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we would only defeat those who would hate & opress those who do not beleive as they do. Through whatever means possible. Think about it. If you knew there was a direct threat to you or family members would you just sit back & accept their intentions? No way! You would stand up & defend what God has blessed you with. Their idea of religion is, “beleive as we do or we will destroy you “. Such belief is contractidory to the true nature & love of our creator. His nature is one of love & self sacrifice. That is why He left His heavenly home & chose to be one wirh us & sacrifice Himself for our eternal salvation. Other religions of the world teach that our good works, if they out weigh our bad works will bring us to eternal life. But Christ taught through the apostle Paul that it is not by our works that we are saved but by the grace of God. Jihad & “fundamental Islamic teaching is not the answer. To hate & demand others to accept their beliefs is extremely dangerous. Jesus Christ is Lord & He loves the human race so much that He sufferd & died for every one of us, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist or agnostic. But what He asks of each of us is are we willing to beleive in Him “I am the way the truth & life, noone comes to the Father but through me.” Was He lying when He spoke those words? Or was He delusional? I greatly doubt it. Who has changed the course of history as much Christ himself? I don’t want anyone who reads this to think I’m sort of a saint because I can assure you I am not! But than I’m no fool either. I’m not a priest or a minister but just an average joe like most of us. I like my beer and my women but I realize that time is short & this world is rapidly losing grip. And I”m beginning to beleive it”s about timw I got my act together. And I guess this is my way of reaching out to those who may be seeking answers to what life is all about. Look up into the starry skies tonight & beleive He is there and that His utmost concern is of you & yours

  4. Maria says:

    “God is wherever He is invited in” Invite him into your heart and you won’t have to look any further.

  5. Matangi says:

    tht was a good story! it reminded me of a story tht i heard frm my granny as a kid., though the end is different over here. a few kids were playing. A man approached them and gave them each a sweet. but he said that they must eat it secretly and no one should see them eating it. all the kids ran and found their hiding places and ate the sweet. them everyone returned to the man. the man saw that one of the kids had not consumed his sweet. when asked why, the kid replied that wherever he went., there was God. and so, he was never alone. and that s why, he couldnt eat the sweet!

    but the way u’r story ended had a different moral to convey.. a good read!

  6. wanbliska says:

    Maybe each one of us have our own way of believing. The Energy we use would be different from one to another. Some would be surrounded by different colours and quantitatively less or more magnetism. And all af that would change in a time.

    Maybe it would have been wiser to tell the traveller: That’s strange you “have journeyed many leagues just in order to learn to find God”, as you could find in everything around and within you.
    I can’t assure I would have been that wise.

    Thank You Jesus.

  7. Monika says:

    You have changed the order of your blog: The last ones will be the first ones. Not bad!
    Is there only a practical aspect or also an other idea behind?

  8. sah says:

    I’ve always love Paulo Coehlo ever since I read Veronica Decides to Die.. I’m not sure if I have all his books though.

    I’ve learned more from him than my philosophy teacher, and I gave my boyfriend one of his books just to get my message across: that I need to be free!! :)

  9. Hannia says:

    That was AWESOME! :) I was thinking the monk was going to tell the man that God was to be found in these inane objects, but obviously the man would have known better! :-P

  10. Leaf says:

    With you, my friend.
    Concerning your concerns;
    Stop searching – like you said, but Know that Divine is with you, in you, sharing all you say and do, Is you…and as for goodwill…if someone say/do something you do not want to react badly to, imagine they are God and it is a test, or imagine they are a person you loved most in the world and they aren’t saying what they appear to be saying, and breathe slowly before reacting.
    It’s amazing how many times I have changed my mind about retaliating, just by keeping my mouth shut for an extra moment…it’s better in the long run, innit?

    My, sounds like I like telling people what to do, but it just popped into my head (lots of space in there today, lol) – take it or leave it. Yes I did get the computer analogy, thanks. Sideways smile :)

  11. Joël says:

    I think that women are closer connected
    to God then men.The problem with us is that we
    have to devlop our feminin side.
    Women have the gift to feel God closer then we are. I know that God is every were , but i never feeled that God was next to me.
    One time i asked to God to help me in a certain situation and i received help from
    someone how was sended by God.

  12. aditya says:

    Hi Leaf !

    thank you for thanking me, your smile(s) made my life ! ( a smily was needed here! but not availble ).

    just a brief one about your church experience – the priest, and everything else there is hardware, it does not have life on its own. like a computer, all harware combined togather don’t make a computer, it’s when the electricity passes thru them that the hardwares become a computer. similarly, when you enter a church ( will all the objects and that includes priests ( remember not all priests are saints, in fcat its the other way around few saints chose to cecome priests )) your presence makes it holy, or let’s say as holy as you can make it. does not matter, if I am allowed only in the last rows, most laces are off limits, but when I have chirst in my heart, I am limit-less.

    a rather crude attempt to explain something. forget it. I made u smile no ! heey ! u owe me one ! Pray for me to the spirits and the angel, i need every ounce of goodwill I can gather, u see I have a habit of falling into troubles !and i have commited myself to something which appears paralysing at times !

  13. Lien says:

    We always used to believe in manage of God. If we would look up in Bible carefully, we would see some divergences… But a lot of people can t realize that someone had invented this look of Jeuses… Like Paolo write this little story, someone create God.
    And… priest just a fan, who don t believe to everyone…

  14. Monika says:

    Do not question the search! Have faith and do not doubt! Simply invite God and He will be by your side!?

    There are ever again some moments I am able to see and feel it this way – then I simply have a feeling for the divine existence. Another time I feel not sure about it, although I cannot find a special reason to explain my rising doubts. But in moments I feel despaired, I often can’t imagine there is any God or at least I cannot feel he is near to me. How can you manage not to doubt even when your close to despair – even or especially when you know how important it would be to keep faith just in this moments, when your fear to drown is greatest?

  15. Agnieszka says:

    Believing..what is believing?
    Trusting that…everything what’ll come your way will be a good one, that there’s a plan for you…

    Do we have to see, or touch everything to believe?

    I think it would not be believing if we would touch it. There won’t be any miracles, any surprises, life would be out of colors. And we wouldn’t be better anyway, because we’re human beings, who..make mistakes, who..sin, but also who…love.
    When you take away the faith, when you take away the pain, when you take away the passion for life, everything becomes…luke warm,
    and what are the words of God: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth”
    Hmm…sounds harsh, but…would we really want our life to become plain? or would we want to live the compassionate life with smiles and sorrows, with thunderstorms and rainbows?


  16. Leaf says:

    Aditya, love ya
    That was class!
    You often make me smile, and I thank you now, for all those smiles – I hope you have extras for yourself, always.

  17. Leaf says:

    Unfortunately it can go further and worse than this in modern churches, according to my own experience:-
    Once shown around the church and invited to come back, the new comer will find the priest’s attention elsewhere, there’s no more food on offer, and the garden was actually off-limits and a once-off privilage. – When I explained that I could see and hear Spirit, and I knew an Angel, I was told to keep it to myself.

  18. Tania says:

    Open your heart to God and blessed will you live and love inside your temple ,and become part of the whole .blessings Tania
    Agnieszka ” I love the smell of wild flowers too..”

  19. Alexandra says:

    I do not have the courage to say that every rule is harmful .Yet,I understand the point of view,and I partially agree.There are priests without wisdom and power to serve God in the better way,still,we should not take it generally.I think is very obsolete to say that ,for example, God need a man ,who is priest, do not get married.Why should God need such an unnatural thing ,which should lead only to worse sinns!I also think that God is everywhere,so one should search for Him in every place,the whole world is His home,not only the territory of a church.I do not want to convince anybody,but,personally,I feel closer to God in nature.

  20. aditya says:

    “And so saying, He disappeared.”

    Funny chap ! this, Zesus and ( Other God(s) too !!) you know what is their most favourite occupation – it must be ‘the disappearing act’, ain’t it !! For mere mortals like me, He seems to make his presence felt by his absence !! absured, i know, but such seems to be the divine logic !

    how about turning tables for a change in this game of life, in this game of hide and seek of God !, let’s stop being ‘seekrs’, let’s start becomming ‘hiders’ let the fellow do the hard work of seeking, let me enjoy pleasures of hiding !!


  21. Agnieszka says:

    Yes…”God is wherever He is invited in.”
    If you invite Him to your heart, He’ll come, if you open your soul, He’ll be there, if you look at the sky thinking of Him, He’ll show up.
    He is everywhere you want Him to be, in every sunshine, every sunrise, every stone, every flower, every tear and every smile.
    It is enough to feel it…to touch His heart, no words are necessary.

    How can I thank you God
    for the life full of light,
    for the heart that beats hard,
    for delicate touch of the sand,
    for smell of wild flowers,
    for love that lives inside me,
    for every breath of wind,