Well, my book, The Practice of the Presence of God, arrived yesterday, and I’m already halfway through. No need to be impressed. It’s an itty bitty book.
It’s principally about enjoying the presence of God while engaging in the routine things in life….like doing the dishes. Or feeding the dog. Or bathing your four-year old. Or consuming a box of Junior Mints. It’s the practice of recognizing His presence even outside the Sunday experience or your quiet devotional time. This, Brother Lawrence says, takes practice. But, living our life acknowledging the presence of God in the big and small things will not only bring us unbelievable joy, but it will sure us up in knowing that with Him, all things truly are possible.
One key in practicing His presence is doing away with any thoughts or actions that do NOT lead us or point us toward Christ. He writes, “the most important part resides in renouncing, once and for all, whatever does not lead to God. This allows us to become involved in a continuous conversation with Him in a simple and unhindered manner….
All we have to do is recognize God as being intimately present within us.”
When I read this, I had to consider the feelings and thoughts that come up when certain situations arise. Does that thought or does my action or response LEAD me to God? I’d bet the envy that I feel over her six-pack abs does not lead me to God. Nor does my judgment over how he handled a situation. And, the way I over-react to my children, at times….well, I’d bet that’s not leading me to God.
And, the occasional pride issue that creeps up? Well, let’s not even go there.
But, actually, I must go there.
I must go to these things that hinder me from experiencing His presence in every single thing I do. I have to catch myself when these thoughts that aren’t of Him rear their ugly heads. And, denounce them. Then, maybe I can experience Him the way He created me to experience Him.
Oh, the conversations I’m sure we’ll have when I begin to practice His presence.
I think I’m going to like this book. ‘Cause I sure like His presence.