One of the most delightful aspects of my ministry is assisting people in drawing closer to God. The progression is similar for most. It first necessitates an awareness that God is with us each moment. Let me share with you a writing regarding this cognizance by Albert Edward Day.
God is not real to most of us because of the condition of our consciousness. He is closer to our minds every moment than our own thoughts. He is nearer to our hearts than our own feelings. He is more intimate with our wills than our most vigorous decisions. If we are not aware of him, it is not because he is not with us. It is, in part, because our consciousness is so under the sway of other interests that it cannot turn to him with the loving attention which might soon discern him.
Did you ever encounter, on the street, a friend whose physical eyes looked at you without seeing you? You walked right into him before the alien look on his face changed into one of recognition. Then he confessed that he had been so absorbed in thought about some other matters that he had not been aware of you, until your intentional collision with him. You were there, yet he did not see you. Though actually in your presence, he was nevertheless as unconscious of you as if you did not exist.
It would be a very poor sort of life that was aware of people only when it collided with them, or was brought up standing by some decisive act of theirs. And it is a tragic life that becomes conscious of God only in those events that shatter its habitual thoughts and dreams and compel it to recognize his presence and activity.
What makes life splendid is the constant awareness of God. What transforms the spirit into his likeness is intimate fellowship with him. We are saved—from our pettiness and earthiness and selfishness and sin—by conscious communion with his greatness and love and holiness.
Yet it is not awareness alone that leads to this transformation. It is communion with God. We recognize that we need space in our busy lives each day to focus on God. Thus, in my ministry, it is my role to help expand the understanding of what it is to be with God. I teach the listening side of prayer or contemplative prayer. This is a more vulnerable way to be with God than is typical of many “quiet times.” This prayer helps us open ourselves to God’s shaping. We create the space and God sets the agenda for our time together.
We are offering a class on Contemplative Prayer that begins on November 2nd. Through this six-week class/retreat, you will learn forms of prayer that will help you be attentive to God’s voice in your life. I hope you will join us!
Grace and peace to you,