'God is closer to me than I am to myself,' said Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), the German mystic and theologian of the bygone days. He went on to say that God is close to the wood but the wood doesn't realize that. That's true. God is closer to us but we don't realize the fact of God's nearness to us.
This insensitivity to God's nearness is caused by those things that have exiled God from our consciousness. It could also be that that many of our worldly concerns, cares and the like has created a wedge between us and our God and we let that gap grow as time went by, thus distancing us from our God.
We have many things that can take the place of God in our life. There are many rivals to God and we have consciously or unconsciously give these rivals to God the place of God in our lives. These are things that engage each moment of our lives. Our busy life, life's priorities, the things that demand our attention, those things that we adore have engaged our minds so much that we don't have time to realise the presence of God around us. These make us so insensitive like wood to the presence of God.
We then become like chidren who left their parents hands and were finally were lost in the crowd. Some search frantically for their parents to be united with them, some don't even realize that they are lost. This is what has happened to most of us. We have deliberately travelled too far from our Father who want to be closer to us.
One reason for wandering away from the Father is our own false self-confidence. We are made to believe that we are independent and we can do things without Him. As children grow and are more and more used to their world, they develop a sense of independence. That make them to dare to venture out themselves. This independence resulting from the false self-confidence is what makes us less and less aware of the presence of God. We are certainly less aware of what we don't make use of at all.
Jośe A. Pagola a Spanish bible commentator thinks that the problem of the modern world is not atheism but a 'God-deficiency' that we experience. We may not deny the existence of God but we don't acknowledge or experience God as much as we ought to. God is there, but we feel a deficiency of him in our lives.
This God-deficiency in our lives is the reason for all the ills of the modern day. Our world has turned more violent than before, because we in short supply of the God of love. We are merciless to women, children, the unborn, the poor etc, because we are deficient of the God of mercy.
God created the world centered around him, beautiful. The Bible encourages us to live our lives centred around him. God in the Old Testament had his presence in the midst of his people in the Tabernacle. He led his people through the wilderness. Jesus invited us to abide in him and promised his presence in our midst. He is ready to dine with anyone who opens the door of his heart for him. However, our insensitiveness, our God-deficiency and the lack of the God-centredness of our lives has thrown us off balance. There is a great need to return to God.
The devotional masters always tried to 'centre' themselves before they prayed, studied their scripture or even before they wrote. Everything has to be activities centred on God and proceed from the great awareness of him around and in us. This is why learning to centre our lives on God, whenever we feel that we are away from him is important.