Day #1 without Caffeine (of the coffee/tea sort)
On the drive to uni this morning _ and I had a rather long, involved and quality (I hope) discussion around the difficulty of ‘doing the God thing’. How can we simply not just be good, moral, upstanding people but be living according to God, particularly when ‘God time’ gets pushed to a lower and lower priority. ‘Quiet times’ become rapidly obsolite in light of more interesting things and we start living in this static guilt cradle of, “I’m really sorry God, I should be spending more time with you.” Where in reality, the sorry changes nothing, except perpetuates into the sorry being all the God time is about. It may be quite easy to say, “I love you God” but how can you live it? __’s concerns were all very valid and I’m only sharing them because I’ve had (and often do have) the same questions myself. I offered what advice I could and thought about how I do the ‘incorporate God thing’. For really incoporating a God who should be the centre of well, everything, is throwing a human damper on it all before you even get started.
We wound up at Tabor at the end of the day and were having a chat with Rowan. It came up again and he had some great advice, pointers and wisdom beyond what I had this morning. It was directed at her but I still found it both encouraging and interesting.
Quiet times aren’t all they are cut out to be. I do know this and its a massively good thing they aren’t the be all and end all or else (picture more flailing ninnys here).
Rowan gave _ a book (if she was interested). I promptly stole it off her, because it’s short and I’d have read it and returned it before she even got around to starting. Turns out (As I thought) it is old enough to be available online. So The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
So I was sitting reading this tonight – took me about half an hour, it’s really not that long. I tried to keep in mind the basic principle Ro’ said it outlined – the constancy of God in our lives and spotting him in what he’s already doing. It was difficult in a way because the book had some moments where I was more than entirely willing to leave it in disgust. There was very much an emphasis on thinking on God at all times, unfortuantely any other thought he seemed to dismiss as ‘wrong’ and put the priority on Love.
I like to remember that with the, ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind’ adage (verse even) that we don’t leave off the ‘mind’ at the end. I like using my mind. I’d be sorrowful piece of skin, bone and a bit of blood and fingernail without it. It’s another part of me that God has created and I intend to use it.
The writing also came across as a bit arrogant, but I think that’s just because of the age. It also seems highly more possible to think about God all the time within a ‘monk’ type situation. I mean sure he had dishes to do and meals to cook, but hah, today is distraction city. It was still a very interesting quick read just some minor mental adaptions needed to fit the generation.
God shouldn’t be he whom we intergrate, but instead he who we realise has been there all along and doesn’t depend on our ‘set aside times’ to interact with us. Stuff I know, but stuff worth remembering. Living the presence of God as if it really was here all the time (and it is) would be flippin amazing and so extremely difficult.