In the Presence: wave after wave
In the Presence…[attempting a practical look at experiencing God in everyday life: relax, look, listen, receive, react, repeat] I think we can all experience God more in everyday life in ways unique to each of us. This usually involves learning (by doing) practical how-to’s while paying attention to deeper ways we understand ourselves, the world and God (our worldview and identity).
Our worldview and identity is like the foundation of a house or even better a skyscraper. It’s below the surface but holding the whole structure we can see up. The size, strength, health of your foundation determines the size and type of building you can put on it. All that to say, worldview and practical how-to go hand in hand.
If you see a post titled “In the Presence” the focus is going to be some practical how-to built around what I think are the basic elements of hearing God’s voice and experiencing him in everyday life: relax (not striving and at peace), look (focus on the Triune God of the universe), listen (helps when we don’t do all the talking), receive (God is near and always giving and speaking), react (respond, obey or whatever makes sense in terms of what you are experiencing/hearing), repeat (this is ongoing and can become as natural as breathing – you know something you repeat over and over through the day without having to consciously think about and it keeps you alive…stop for too long and well you know what happens).
Alright, enough with the intro…let’s get to the practical. Across many traditions, throughout history there has been a consistent witness that God is the one initiating and sustaining relationship with us. His is consistently and constantly speaking, interacting and revealing himself. Think of the waves of the sea. One wave comes
after another, in different sets, in different sizes, different tides, but over and over, wave after wave. Some liken God’s love to waves of liquid love constantly coming, wave after wave. Want to feel, see, hear the waves of his love? As you’ll hear from me over and over there are many different ways that work differently for different people. You can experience the waves by catching and riding them surfing, kayaking, boogieboarding or like a kite surfer jumping off them. Or you can just wade or swim into the water, any depth you want and feel the waves. You can experience them by watching them from the beach. You can just listen to them from inside a house in the night and still experience wave after wave by the sound of them rolling in. You get the picture…
So try this: take a few minutes to write down 10 things you are grateful for. Each of them is like a wave of God’s love in your life. (See how I did that with the metaphor there…that takes some skill.) Then for however long you want in a way that is relaxing to you look at, listen and receive from God. Now, take another few minutes and write down 10 different things you are grateful for. Now, take some more time, in whatever way you want, to interact with God. Then, for a third time list 10 more things you are grateful for and just sit back and relax and listen for what comes to mind (thoughts, words, images) feelings (physical or emotional) what you become aware of and react, interact, respond in whatever way seems to make sense…go with the flow, ride the wave, hang loose…alright, I’m done. Give it a try.