When I was in my mid-twenties, my mentor often told me, “Wherever you are, be all there.” He encouraged me to “live in a state of preparedness.” He was the most spiritually disciplined man I have ever known.
And then he introduced me to a book titled Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence helps readers consider a life in which we practice being in the presence of Christ throughout the day, no matter what we are doing, just as Paul describes in Romans 12:1-2.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Of course, this is all easier said than done. The normal, mundane aspects of our everyday lives often don’t feel like acts of worship. It is sometimes difficult to think of myself as living in the presence of Christ when I am simply washing the dishes, driving the kids to school, or sending emails.
Recently I was struck with just how easy it can be to live normal, day-to-day life as an act of worship. During a summer retreat at Laity Lodge Family Camp I went for a run with a friend on the beautiful trails that wind through the hills of the Frio Canyon. During our run, we got lost in rich conversation about life and faith and friends. At one point my friend asked if he could pray, out loud, while we ran, as a response to something I had shared with him.
For the next few moments we ran and navigated the tricky terrain of the Texas Hill Country trails, and we prayed. As we prayed and ran, I was surprised by just how normal it felt. To invite Christ with us as we ran. To simply talk to our Lord while doing what we love as if he was just a third running partner on the trails with us. It seems so simple, but I often make it so difficult.
My mentor would have been proud. He would have smiled as we “practiced the presence” of Christ as we ran. We hope all of our guests have experiences like this at Laity Lodge Family Camp, and better yet, when they are at home living their day-to-day lives.
Questions to consider:
- What often keeps you from recognizing the Lord’s presence in the midst of the mundane, everyday aspects of life?
- Have you ever experienced a time in which you felt the Lord’s presence in the midst of the mundane, everyday aspects of life? If so, when and how?