Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b NIV)
I am going through Maxie Dunham’s book, ” The Workbook of Living Prayer” again. I am in Week Five at the moment and Day Six inspired these reflections.
Ireneus, one of the early church fathers, wrote, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
This implies that the glory of God is not only Christians in prayer, or studying the bible, or worshipping together or even caring for others. It is supremely found when Christians live life to the full. It is you and I and all human-kind, fully alive. To be alive is to be aware, to be fully present. Praying without ceasing is being aware, paying attention, mindfulness.
There are four aspects of awareness as God’s children.
Awareness of self. What am I feeling? What’s going on inside me? What am I sensing? A friend told me of the five, four, three, two, one method of settling down to prayer. Note five things I see, four things I hear, three things I feel, two things I smell and one thing I taste. ( All the more reasons to have a cup of coffee with my quiet time in the morning)
Awareness of others, deliberately being present to them, really seeing them and interacting. It is being willing to share ourselves with others.
Awareness of the world. God designed this world for us, who are flesh, to dwell in. He saw that it was good. We need to be aware of the world, not only the gifts of nature, but also the social fabric of life.
Awareness of God. When we open ourselves to God’s Spirit, we can be alive to God’s action in ourselves, others and the world.
The philosopher, Martin Heidegger talks about “openness” to “what is.” This means an openness and acceptance of myself as I am, of others as they are, of God for who He is and the world as it is. In this way we can become aware of what God wants to do through us and through others in the world.
Being open to what is carries risks. We expose ourselves to pain, embarrassment, sorrow, failure, rejection and other negative experiences. However, these are as much a part of real life as happiness, confidence, love, trust and joy.
The glory of God is each of us fully alive.