THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD
We all can enjoy great intimacy with God! Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk of the 17th-century, was the chief cook of his order and was always in the kitchen. His position was perfect for him because he made it his project to “practice the presence of God.” At any given moment, he would remind himself that God was with him. He became incredibly good at the practice and enjoyed deep peace, comfort, and fullness of Life. His letters are collected in a profound little book, The Practice of the Presence of God.
We can develop our awareness of God through seeking Him. When God is our great desire, we find Him everywhere, even though He isn’t tangible to our senses. At one point in a child’s development, if an adult places a blanket over a favorite toy, the child will cry. As the little one grows in awareness, he’ll reach out and pull the blanket off, knowing the “invisible” toy is beneath it. The child has developed a new level of consciousness. Experience is a great teacher. As we persist in seeking our invisible God, we become more and more able to perceive His presence. We become conscious of reality—God truly IS here, NOW, with you, with me.
LIVING IN THE NOW
Our relationship with God allows us to remain primarily in the now. If we trust God, we won’t spend time visualizing a future without him. And if we allow God to complete us, as he longs to do, we don’t need the future to make us whole or happy or good enough. We can stop waiting to live. We are who we are—a child of the Master of the universe. What self-concept can be greater? More all-encompassing? More freeing?
If we find our identity in God, we don’t need the past to define us. In God, we become new. The hang-ups of our past self are just that, part of our past self. We’re given the dignity of being co-creators with God, moment by moment. God makes all things new, including us. In each unique moment, we can live our lives with power and with hearts wide open.
Not only does God live in our now, he makes our now liveable. Frequently, my now-moments are simply doing the dishes. I don’t know about you, but my dishes are not that fascinating. Yet if my now-moment is filled with God’s presence—which it is—my now is peace-filled, joy-filled, contented, no matter what I am doing.
Perhaps a few of these thoughts can help you “practice the presence” during your day, simply reminding yourself God is within you and you have your being within God. But don’t get attached to any thought or image. Let go and feel, experience, God’s presence.
When you realize it’s been quite a while since you’ve thought of God, ask for the grace to seek and find. Feel the glory of holding and being held by perfect Love. Right now. This moment—God is with you. You are on holy ground!
My prayer for you—
Today, be aware.
God’s Life floods your heart.
It’s always Raining Grace.