I woke to a long day with no plans. A rare and precious gift. One I am very blessed to have in a world of activity and toil.

As I continue to focus my life on soaking in the presence of God I decided to simply let the flow of the day carry me where it would, which I assumed would be to my backyard with my Bible and laptop, my phone turned to silent so I can more easily ignore it. That seemed like a good plan for settling into a nice contemplative mood.

After my ritual morning coffee with Matt and Meredith I tried to sit longer and just enjoy the nothing-to-do-ness. After about 2 minutes I found myself stressing over not wanting to sit there. That seemed counterproductive, so I picked up some of the clutter around the house and tried to sit again. No dice.

By 8:30 I had donned by running shoes and headed out for an easy workout thinking maybe that would burn off some of the extra energy inhibiting my plans for soaking today. But at 10:30AM I have yet to make it to my backyard. Instead I am sitting on my front porch where I can enjoy neighbors walking by (or at least wave at the trash collectors as they pass). The only thing I’m contemplating is a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some storage for my sweaters I replaced with summer-wear in my closet yesterday.

All of this reminded me of something I wrote 2 years ago. So, in recognition of the multiple ways I have learned for soaking in God’s presence, I present a portion of that post below. Meanwhile, I’m off to be among people!

 

I am not a mystic. I have no monkish leanings.

I am all for the silent, isolated, cloistered experiences that we all need at times in order to revel in the presence of God. What I am dissatisfied with is that, according to much of what I am reading, a monastic lifestyle is THE way to spiritual formation. I simply cannot imagine spending significant time cut off from the world around me as I try to forget everything but the existence of God.

I know, love, and respect a significant number of people who are more mystically gifted, so to speak. I admire their ability to sit in silence for a long time and simply be. Consequently, for a long time I thought the problem was me. I must be too socially focused and need to break myself of this. My desire for external stimulation in the learning process was a weakness I should overcome. And so on.

Certainly there are times when it is necessary for me to move towards God in ways not a part of my natural mode of relating to the world around me. But I am beginning to believe that maybe there is more than one path to the kind of closeness to God that I see contemplation bringing for many of my friends.So I lay myself open to God hoping He will show me how to revel more and more in Him without having to deny the way He created me to be.