“It is not God we’re missing. It is the awareness of God in the commonness of life that we fail to cultivate.” Called to Question by Joan Chittister p 40,41
Journaling the events of the day and paying attention to the places where I have been aware of God’s presence during the day not only help me to remember those times but keep me on the lookout for God in the ordinary circumstances of the day. Whether I am cooking supper, babysitting, listening to a child’s problems or working at the office I will encounter God if I pay attention. But God generally will not yell or resort to fireworks or visions. Just a very still small whisper that I sometimes must strain my ears to hear. I suppose for me journaling is like wearing a hearing aid, helping me to hear God.
On the other hand, when I am using time in a wasteful way (and I do not mean relaxing or leisure time because that is good time but rather time when I know I am blocking out the responsibilities I should be taking care of) then I am blocking God out. If I cannot carry on whatever I am doing as though God were at my side, I am closing the door on his presence, telling him that I am busy, come back later when I feel like it. I can hardly expect God to come and go at my pleasure as if he were mine to command.
Today, going for a walk was the best thing I did. I had forgotten how good the clear fresh air tasted. I had forgotten how good it was to walk in God’s presence with my eyes open to his world around me. How green the evergreens are against the snow. The sun’s rays slanted a warm gold across the open snow on the river to the trees on the island. It was good to stretch my limbs and muscles. How badly I need to do this regularly!
Last night I watched Zaka as Grace had some business to take care of, helping out her brother. He is beginning to walk and he knows that he can perform this feat to our great delight. He toddles about 10 steps between couch and coffee table then stands up to clap for himself. It is a much fun for him as for us watching. It is a delight to watch him develop, to see him discover things he can do and see that once he has it figured out he adds that skill to his growing repertoire. He learns new things almost daily. I hope that the joy and love we are able to share with him now also is also stored away inside to be drawn on later to help heal the hurtful parts of life that will come someday.
Both these events – the walk and watching my grandson – were places I met God. Nature is an easy place for me to encounter God. It holds endless things to wonder and marvel at. And a child beginning to discover life – just watching him discover walking or pushing a ball down a tube – that is an experience in the reality of being “fearfully and wonderfully made.