being free

I like being free. I like the way it feels.

05 April 2010

practicing the presence part ii

One reason the practice of the Presence of God is so important to the Christian life is that it enables the believer to grow in whole life worship. Scripture directs us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 talks about the LORD our God being one. God is not a divided God, he is the one Lord over all creation, and therefore we are to love, honor, and worship him in all of life. The Deuteronomy 6 passage goes on to talk about the importance of God’s word being on our heart continuously; when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down and get up. Here we are given a command to be continuously mindful and loving of God.

The practice of the Presence of God helps us acknowledge God’s Lordship and Presence in all of life. It could be rightly called “everyday spirituality”. Brother Lawrence said it like this:

“For me the time of action does not differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are together calling for as many different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as when upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.” (Practice of the Presence of God, p. 16)
Here we see a spirituality that is grounded in the everyday. God’s presence is manifest as powerfully in the daily grid of life as it is in the set apart times. In this form of spirituality there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular. All is sacred. It is this form of spiritually that realizes the tension Joan Chittister describes:

“Spirituality, we have all learned somehow, is something I have to leave where I am in order to find it. I get it in small doses, in special places and under rarefied conditions. I hope I get enough at one time in life to carry me through all the other times. The idea that sanctity is as much a part of the married life or the single life as it is of the religious life or the clerical life is an idea dearly loved but seldom deeply believed." (Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, p.2)
The practice of the Presence of God helps us find deep meaning in whatever we do, whether it is in our work, marriages, families, neighborhoods or faith communities. God can be honored and encountered in all these aspects of life. Scriptures says it like this:

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
William Tyndale once said “There is no work better than another to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all is one; to wash dishes and to preach is all one to please God.” As we learn to acknowledge and recognize the Presence of God in all we do, all of life is transformed into an act of worship. Brother Lawrence was acknowledged for this, it was said of him:
“Brother Lawrence’s one method of going to God and abiding in His Presence was to do all for the love of Him. It was a matter of no consequence to him, whether he was employed on one thing or the other, provided that therein he sought God’s glory. It was to Him he looked, and not to the work in hand.” (Practice of the Presence of God p. 23)
... more coming....


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