One of the ways to be present in a moment is to "cycle through" a rhythm of questions each time something "catches your eye." You can do this intentionally - like I am here in asking you to look at the picture above. Or, something may just catch your eye as you're watching TV, driving down the road or walking through the grocery store.
The gist of it is you are "looking" for God in the present moment, paying attention to what you're noticing. Like Moses who turned aside to notice the Burning Bush (Ex 3), God spoke when he saw that Moses turned aside to notice (Ex 3.4).
This practice is really old...many people have practiced it for many years - it was an amazing way of engaging the senses beyond just "thinking." It was a practice that was helpful because before the printing press in the 1500s and before the rise in literacy, most scripture and truths about God were heard or in art. For our purposes here, the fancy Latin for this practice of looking at something and "listening" in to God is called Visio Divina - or Divine seeing. (Doesn't everything sound more spiritual in Latin?) You might have also heard of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) - the principle is the same. It is a rhythmic way of paying attention - of listening into how the Lord is revealing Himself to you in the ordinary moments of your day.
Today we're going to
- Look and notice
- Pay attention to "connections" to our life/circumstance
- Listen for Invitations
So - here we go:
Take a look at the picture above. Just notice it, what your eyes see and drift to in the picture. You may even ask the Lord, what do you want me to notice?
Have a gentle curiosity about this thing you are noticing...even notice in your body if this picture sort of "draws you in" or "unnerves" you.
Then ask the Lord, "Lord, in what way does this picture (or thing I'm noticing in the picture) connect to my heart/life/circumstances?
Pay attention to whatever memory, person, or a current circumstance that rises to the top of your consciousness. E.g. The tree reminds me of my friend at work who is_________; or My soul feels like that ground right now....
In this moment, there's nothing to solve, fix or figure out. in this moment...you just get to be curious about what you're seeing and how it connects to things in your soul/life.
Look again...and ask the Lord, "What are your invitations for me in this?"
And, again, listen for a gentle whisper...."I want you to know......" or "I see your parched soul..." or whatever comes to heart or mind. what does God want you to know about Himself? What does He want you to know about yourself?
Take note: Invitations aren't always something to DO...it may just be a noticing about who God is or who God says you are...
Finally, note how you feel about God's invitation - or if you don't sense an invitation, note your feelings toward NOT sensing an invitation. Are you excited or frightened? More at peace or more disturbed?
Carry the invitation with you during this day and week....and keep looking for ways that you might respond to God from whatever is divinely revealed to you by the Holy Spirit during this reflection.
And remember - if anything catches your attention - a song, a movie clip, a line from a poem or scripture verse, something your professor said...that you can "divinely" interact with that....
- Connect to current life/circumstances
May you enjoy divinely listening to what you see today.