Between keeping ourselves distracted and waiting we miss a lot in life. Waiting for when I grow up. Waiting to get that job. Waiting to find that special person. Waiting to retire . Waiting to that buy new whatever. We live in anticipation of some future fulfillment.
In my faith journey i had observed in my self and others particularly in 'spirit filled' circles much of life being projected into the future and taken up with passing time, waiting for something to happen. Waiting for the fire to fall Waiting for that revival to break out. Waiting for that miracle. Waiting for the next move of God. We anxiously await the big thing to unfold in our lives, passing time till we die and "go to heaven."
Most of the “big moments” in our lives tend to take place in the ordinariness of daily life. God is to be found in the ordinary and mundane. We are often so busy we can’t see the forest for the trees. We miss the miracles unfolding before our eyes. We miss God’s immediate presence in the wonder of the ordinary.
Song writer Nick Cave captures this thought so beautifully in these lyrics from his song “Get Ready for Love”
Nothing much really happens
And God rides high in his ordinary sky
Until we find ourselves at our most distracted
And the miracle that was promised
Creeps silently by.
I remember when it really hit me. God is present in the now, my life is unfolding now. The miracle is in this present mundane moment.
God never promised to answer every question or be an easy access rabbits foot. What he has promised however, is that He would never leave us or forsake us. That he would be present with us at every moment, in all our joy and sorrow, in our waking in our sleeping, in our work and in our play.
What if we were to attempt to be conscious of God's presence in the ordinary now, in daily situations? How would this transform our thoughts, our actions, our encounters with others?
Buddhists refer to this being present in each moment, each breath as mindfulness. For followers of Christ this can be understood as practicing the presence of God.
A 17th century Carmelite monk, Brother Lawrence considered "the practice of the presence of God' to be at the center of authentic Christian spirituality. He learned the discipline of being constantly aware of Gods presence especially in the ordinary and mundane during his forty years of doing dishes and daily tasks for his monastic community.
He wrote, "There is not in the world, a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it."
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. [Psalm 139:7-12]
Embracing the ordinary and cultivating the practice of becoming aware of Gods presence in the mundane moments and responding, could also be framed as life in the Spirit.
I remember in my early years as a follower of Christ one of my big questions was "how does one walk in the spirit". I used to ask that of every Christian i meet.. It often got me into trouble. One day while reading The Pursuit of God by A. W Tozer. I came across this simple passage; "The universal presence of God is a fact. God is here.The whole universe is alive with his life...we have with in us the ability to know him if we will but respond to his overtures" and thus unfolds the mystery of the mundane.
Brad Culver Ontario Region