Today it happened. The two books I have been reading through in my assignation with God every morning suddenly aligned themselves together to make an AHA moment.
From Brother Lawrence’s book, “The Practice of the Presence of God,” I have been learning that this 17th century brother was able to spend all his days in constant communion with God, whether he was working in the noisy kitchen, preparing food, picking vegetables or in set times of prayer. Through the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to do the same, with limited success.
The other book, “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren, has taught me that it all starts with God and it’s about Him, not me; That I am not an accident, I was created on purpose; that life is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment; that I was made for God’s pleasure and that to make him smile is my goal.
Today I started Chapter 11, “Becoming Best Friends with God.” The scripture is “Since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life.” (Romans 5:10 NLT) The first section is about being best friends with God through constant conversation.
Rick Warren writes,” You can carry on a continuous, open-ended conversation with him throughout your day, talking with him about whatever you are doing or thinking at that moment. ‘Praying without ceasing’ means conversing with God while shopping, driving or other everyday tasks.”
He then goes on to talk about Brother Lawrence and quotes him. I was astounded. God has my attention. It seems like this is what He wants of me, to be in constant communion with Him. I am trying. I am failing a lot.
It encouraged me to read that Brother Lawrence also failed often. If he found his thoughts wandering, “without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind has wandered involuntarily,” he would bring his thoughts back to focusing on God. It took many years for him to be comfortable in that practice.
The picture that comes to my mind is of a young child trying to balance on a low wooden fence. At first she falls off at every second step. She climbs back up and continues. She doesn’t cry because she can’t do it, or start again because she wants to be perfect. She just keeps going. Eventually she will get really good at balancing on the wood and will be able to walk long distances without falling off.
That is my aim:- to keep on being aware of God as often as I can during my normal life until it becomes easier. I learned other tips from Rick Warren, other authors and my own experience but I’ll talk about those in my next post.
Lord Jesus, I hear what You are trying to say to me. I’d love to be in that kind of ongoing, intimate relationship with You. Please strengthen my mindfulness muscles and help me keep my focus on You. Amen.