Tag Archives: presence of God

A Wink and a Nudge

Most of you know I’ve been trying to practice the presence of God in my everyday life. I have come to realize that I can never do it as well as Brother Lawrence who had been doing it for forty years when he wrote his book. I’m happy with baby steps.

On Wednesdays, my husband and I go ten pin bowling. We belong to the pensioners league where the emphasis is rather on having fun than racking up a good score, although there are some good bowlers in our ranks. (Out of my three games I only crept over a hundred in one.)

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This week, my husband bowled straight after me so we had very little interaction with each other. One has to concentrate to make sure one doesn’t miss a turn and then there is the fun of encouraging other members in the team and watching them bowl. At one stage he was standing in front of the chairs in the next lane, about three metres from me. He caught my eye and winked.

It occurred to me that that is one way we can be aware of God. We need to concentrate on what is going on around us and the task that engages us, but every now and then we can just lift our thoughts to Him and wink. Just an acknowledgement that He’s with us, we are aware of Him and things are good between us.

Later, as we were walking side by side to the car, I was aware of a touch on my arm, a nudge. My husband was warning me that a car had turned and would pass in front of us. I think sometimes God comes closer to us and we can feel His nudge. Those times when we just had an uneasy feeling about what we were about to do and we didn’t and we realized later that it would have been a bad move if we had done it. Or the times when we felt an overwhelming urge to contact somebody and what a blessing it was to both of us when we did.

If we remain mindful of the things we see, hear, taste, feel and sometimes smell, we can’t but be aware of God’s presence with us in the ordinary things of life:- a grandchild’s hug, a beautiful sunset, a fragrant rose, a refreshing drink or a relaxing bath.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

My Prayer

Father God, may I never be so caught up in my own thoughts, plans or concerns that I miss out on appreciating your everyday gifts of pleasure or opportunity. May my thoughts turn to You at every possible moment. I love You and I am so grateful You are with me even when I am unaware of You. Amen

Balancing Act

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.

My Prayer

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.

Experiment in Prayer

JusJoJan 22 January

This post is also part of Streams of Consciousness Saturday

This morning I determined, once again to try to keep in conversation with God all day. When I got back inside from the gazebo and saw that my husband was still praying in his study, I decided to do the exercises I’m supposed to do once a week but hadn’t done for about five weeks.

Suddenly I thought about chocolate. I have a stash in the drawer next to my bed. As I approached it, I remembered I was keeping in conversation with the Lord and I hesitated. The verse came into my mind, “He gave us all things richly to enjoy.” So I broke off a piece and started my chocolate conversation. It went something like this.

“Thank you, Lord for chocolate. Like the advert says, It’s like heaven in my mouth. I can feel it melting. It’s so amazing that You made things in three phases, liquid, solid and gas. I can taste the change from solid to liquid right here in my mouth. Isn’t that amazing! My tongue is so sensitive, it can feel the edge of a nut on the broken side, and it can feel the grooves that divides the chocolate squares. I wonder if it can make out the printed name on top. … No, seems not. It is a very sensitive instrument though – when my fingers can’t feel the end in a roll of sellotape, my tongue often can. Now the chocolate has all melted and dissolved away and only the nuts and raisins are left. They are the icing on the cake:- pockets of sweet fruitiness and nibbles of brittle goodness. Thank you Lord, I enjoyed that.

Over breakfast we could see and appreciate the birds on the bird feeder and the beautiful blue sky. I tried to carry on a similar conversation about my oats with mushy apple, raisins and cinnamon topped with yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. So many flavours. I tried to distinguish each one and then praised God for the variety of tastes and smells He created.

After breakfast the thought came to me to try to fix my sewing machine one last time. We had planned to take it to the sewing shop for repairs after my husband’s dentist appointment. I did the things I had done yesterday when my granddaughter and I had realised that although the bobbin would wind, the needle would not go up and down. the wheel was frozen. I unclipped the retaining ring, removed the bobbin casing and turned the wheel. It rotated. I phoned the sewing shop to find out whether they had a technician on site. Then I could show him what I had done. the problem had to be in the housing (my book calls it the hook race.)

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No technician on site. They would send the machine away. I put back the pieces, checking after each step if the wheel turned. I got the retaining ring in place but not secured. It turned. I clipped the left side. It worked. I clipped the right side. It didn’t work. However when I secured the right side first, it worked. Left side… still worked. When I prayed yesterday, I thought the Lord would enable me to fix it first time. I must remember that answers to prayer are not always immediate. I thanked the Lord. I had been in discussion with Him during my dismantling and reassembling, mainly along the lines that if I could not fix the machine, it was due for a service anyway but if I was able to fix it, it was a sign that it didn’t need a service and would continue running for some time. I’m not sure if this is a correct Christian method of handling things but it seemed to work for me.

So my highlights of the day, my icing on the cake, so to speak, were my chocolate prayer and an answer to a prayer I prayed yesterday. Again I became less mindful and my conversation waned as the day progressed. Still, I’ll try again tomorrow.

My Prayer

Thank You Lord for being with me again today. May I become more mindful of You every day. Amen.

A Pilgrim’s Prayer

JusJoJan 19 January 2022

Brother Lawrence, who prayed, “Lord of all pots and pans and things…Make me a saint by getting meals And washing up the plates,” could say, “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

Image from Pixabay

This post is part of One-Liner-Wednesday