Practicing the Presence of God

How does one practice the presence of God?

In everything one does, thinks, and says...

I have been knee deep in spring cleaning the last couple of days - currently in between yoga sessions - so I have taken this time to launder the winter bedding and put it away, and break out all the spring sheets, quilts, and clothes. I've also taken the opportunity to gather up clothes and household items for donation as well...

Yesterday afternoon, after a full day of cleaning, washing, and organizing, I met a dear friend to walk the labyrinth. It's kind of "our thing" - something we've done over the years - and it gave us the opportunity to walk it and meditate together, and reflect on the Stations of the Cross, which were featured through an number of beautiful displays along the way as well.

Later in the evening, when I went to pick up dinner, on the warmest day we've had in so many months (85 degrees!), I stepped out of my car and into the night and thought to myself, "God is everywhere!" In a split second, my heart swelled and filled with incredible bliss, arriving as an unexpected gift!

Yes, God is everywhere - in the laundering, in the spring cleaning, in the little bit of weeding I did in the morning after the weekend rains. God was present when I met my dear friend and shared the walking of the labyrinth with her, and later in the evening, when another friend requested needed prayers...

I curled in bed once again, with Barbara Brown Taylor's, An Altar in the World, and nearly finished it. I particularly hung on every paragraph, word and sentence in the chapter, "The Practice of Being Present in God."

This chapter is about prayer - but perhaps not prayer in the traditional sense, of saying prayers. It is an exposition on the practice of prayer as presence.

Hundreds of years ago, a lowly monk, who swept and tended a kitchen, wrote a book, that was never meant for publication. It came to be known as, The Practice of the Presence of God, and in time it became a spiritual classic. This simple tome notes how one practices God's presence in very simple ways - by dedicating every moment and action to God.

For each of us, such a practice takes on a different flavor, for it is individually "seasoned" by our vocations, our work, our family situations, and everything that is unique about us and our lives. Each opportunity and circumstance offers us the chance to practice this presence in varying ways.

The chapter I read last night began with this quote, which really says and sums it all up:

"The best preparation for a life of prayer is to become more intensely human."

That is all we can do: live as fully and as mindfully as possible - and then see God's presence in everything - everyone - and every experience!

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