"The lightest and most ordinary encounter with the laughing God happens in the little instant of remembering love after we have been forgetful. For me it is one of the most precious experiences of living; to have been kidnapped by some worry or striving [aka efficiency] and then suddenly to be gracefully returned home to the present moment and reminded of love. Scores of such little homecomings happen everyday..." ~ Gerald May, 133
Do you get "kidnapped" by worry and striving?
I sure do...every.single.day.
Yet as I think about Eugene Peterson's translation of Ps. 23.6 - this is sorta how God "reminds" me of love: he chases me with love and beauty. "May love and beauty chase after me all the days of my life..." It's as if God is constantly flirting with me - with a view of beauty in nature or a human heart, or with love expressed by a puppy dog or stranger. Every.single.day - God chases after me with love and beauty. Every.single.day. The question becomes, will I let myself be caught? Will I be attentive to these little moments?
May shares about Brother Lawrence - he was the 17th century monk who found God equally present to him while washing dishes as he did in any formal prayer. Brother Lawrence's classic book, Practicing the Presence of God was about how to return the gaze and remember God in the ordinary moments of the day. He called them, "little interior glances."
"Little interior glances are simple things unadorned, remembrances and noticings happening within the ordinary activities of our daily lives. They come and go. They are not to be held on to" (134).
May suggests that we "intention" our heart toward these little glances of God's love: "Ask God directly, and without qualms, to shower you with glances" (135). In other words, ask God to remind you of God.
Here are some ideas that Gerald May suggest for reflection (135-136)
- At what times during the past day did I seem to be most present, most immediate, most consciously available to love?
- When did I seem most absent, most kidnapped or closed off (to love or to living)?
- What seemed to help or hinder my presence?
- How do I feel right now about how it is going? Am I grateful, frustrated, joyful, angry, exuberant, bored, at peace, afraid? Can I honestly present my feelings to God right now, just as they are?
- Are there any changes I want to make, any special help I seem to need, any prayer that expresses my present hope and intention for the time to come?
Would love to hear how God is showering you with glances - with "sightings" of his love and beauty chasing after you. Feel free to share in the comments below and or at our facebook page. May you be less and less kidnapped by worry and striving and more and more captivated by the little moments in each day.