How Do We Meet God?
Elder Porphyrios: Testimonies and Experiences, by Klitos loannides.
In our question of “How can we, who live in the world, in the bustle, turmoil and schizophrenia of contemporary life, meet God,” Elder Porphyrios told us the following story, presented here in brief:
Shortly after he was appointed chaplain to the Church of St. Gerasimos in the Athens Polyclinic, by Omonia Square, he had a problem at the time of the Liturgy. Directly across the street from the Church was a store that sold gramophones and records. The shopkeeper played records on the gramophone in order to attract customers. He played them so loudly, however, that Elder Porphyrios could not bear it. He had reached the point where he thought of resigning even though he wanted the post very much.
In this situation, as throughout his whole life, Elder Porphyrios did not put his own wants first, but with much prayer and humility, asked God to show him what he should do.
Therefore, following three days of fasting and prayer he found a notebook that belonged to the son of a Church council member, in the corner of the Church. He was a student at the University. It was a physics notebook, -Lord, we always marvel at your works- which gave Elder Porphyrios the solution to his problem.
Leafing through the pages, he found some notes that referred to acoustic waves. Studying it, he had a thought. If you throw a pebble into a lake, the water is disturbed and circles form. If, on the other hand, you threw a rock into another section of the lake, new bigger circles are created which neutralize the first circles.
This was the answer from God that Elder Porphyrios was waiting for. The next day, he tried to concentrate all his spiritual and mental powers into the prayers and the acts of the Divine Liturgy. Thus, on the basis of the reasoning he had done about the lake, he formed circles in his mind and his heart that canceled out the circles that were formed by the gramophone. It no longer disturbed nor distracted him from the Divine Liturgy.