For years, I prayed for God to be present in my life. Now, I pray for me to be present in my life, and thus to be present with God.
Why? God never left. I am the one who fails to show up.
As a Christians, I have prayers asking Jesus to come. Jesus does not need to come. Jesus, like God, is already here. So, I no longer prayer for Jesus to show up.
Or the Holy Spirit. It always used to bother me, asking the Holy Spirit to come. I figured that for sure the Holy Spirit was already here, having been taught that HS is everywhere.
I follow the ancient formula of Julian of Norwich (right), one cool lady mystic in England (1342-1416). She said that we need to Await, Allow, Accept, Attend.
Her instruction about Await and even the others may seem to contradict what I am saying, because she suggests we Await the presence of God. But her teaching is that we are to await the Presence, not as we expect it or want it, but the way God wants to be present. So as I meditate it offer my intention to await whatever gift(s) God has for me today.
But even before I do that, I have added my own “A” or ‘A’s”: before I await, I am Awake, Alert, and Alive to God’s presence.
Awake/Alert/Alive to God’s Presence
Await God’s presence and gifts in whatever way God wants to share them;
Allow God to enter in where God already is, and allow God’s gifts to touch, inspire, and transform me this day’
Accept whatever Presence and gifts God has for me (and all that God has already shared with me);
Attend to what God has given me by using and sharing the gifts and God’s presence to heal me and others and contribute to the healing of the world, to grow in faith, to be a faithful witness for omnipresence of God in the universe.
It is not easy to sit for 30 minutes in silence, with candles lighted and a prayer shawl draped on my shoulders. I can sit pretty still (only seeking now and again to straighten my posture) but my mind goes many places. I let it go, and as best I can I come back to the center of my meditation, back to God really. Sometimes, I silently or quietly say “God” or “Jesus” or whatever “A” I am on as a way of bringing me back.
I can say that even when I wander a lot, and may not even feel very centered, my day is always richer. Even if my side of the connection is weak, the desire and attempt to connect makes a difference. Just showing up to try makes a difference.
It is amazing how fast the 30 minutes goes, once I let myself be present.
It is, after all, about Presence. God’s and mine, together. Things in my life always go better with God.