28 September 2006

In His presence

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
To be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, you'd find me in a minute-
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"

The Message Psalm 139 7-11

The Practice of the Presence of God is a book by Brother Lawrence. Of all the things I have read it has been the second biggest influence on my life. I have been meeting with a friend each week for the last 3 months while she has been working her way through the book. She asked me what was keeping me sane on this journey I have been on this year. I shared with her that I had long ago read the above and continue to find it an inspiring.

When I was very young I went to a school in Washington D.C. We were close to a Catholic school and whenever one of us would have a bomb threat both schools would turn out and head to a field to play softball. Sister Luke would usually umpire. One time while at bat I made the comment that I really didn't want to play ball. She told me to "offer it up to God". At the time I had no idea what she meant. To tell the truth Sister Luke had always seemed a little bit scary to me. It wasn't until years later that I understood what she meant.

While I was in a Sunday School class in England, a teacher brought her copy of Brother lawrence's book. She let me borrow it. Things have never been the same since. This was the first time I had thought about how God could and should impact my daily life. Brother Andrew did everything for the Lord. When he was working in the kitchens, it was for God. If he was scrubbing the floor, it was for his Lord. In every situation he found himself he saw each as an opportunity to work for his Savior. I tried then to adopt his plan. I will confess it was much later when I realized how often I fell short of practicing the presence of God.

Earlier this week I spent quite a bit of time in an airport. After having traversed all the terminals more than once I found a comfy spot to sit and have a snack. While resting I met another woman who had been waiting several hours too. She asked me how I could be so cheerful in such a uncomfortable situation. I explained I had once spent much more time in the same predicament. Once upon a time I and my family spent 21 days in an airport waiting for a military space available flight. She was dumbfounded and said "that's a story I have to hear." So... I shared with her how we were home from the mission field and needed to get back to Okinawa. This led to her sharing how she used to go to church as a girl but hadn't gone once she left her mother's home. We talked for a couple of hours. I am grateful I was open to the Lord's presence and in turn able to share the same with another.

Thankful for the chance to see difficulties become opportunities,


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