A Collection of Moments

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can live with a greater awareness of God’s presence even in the very ordinary, mundane, moments of life.

Frederick Buechner wrote,

The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God’s things because, of course, they are both at once. There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak — even the walk from the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere.

We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fulness of the music. Sometimes we avoid listening for fear of what we may hear, sometimes for fear that we may hear nothing at all but the empty rattle of our own feet on the pavement.

He says he is with us on our journeys. He says he has been with us since each of our journeys began. Listen for him. Listen to the sweet and bitter airs of your present and your past for the sound of him. (from The Sacred Journey)

Every day is nothing but a collection of moments.

Do you know how many minutes are in each day? I believe it’s 1,440 minutes in a day.  Now the question for me is “How many of those minutes can I live with God? How many of those minutes can I live in the awareness of His presence?

Psalm 16:8 says,

“I have set the Lord always before me.”

I take this verse to mean that I  see all of life through the filter of God.

See what happens when I don’t have God before me… sin and temptation start to look really attractive. When I’m not living with God it’s very easy to start to think if I gave into that temptation or lived out that fantasy or had “this” maybe I would be satisfied.

But what I really want is never that thing-that woman-that man-that drug-that money-that control.

One of the biggest problems with sin is that it promises us life, but it never, never, never delivers on that promise. Those are empty promises.

What you want, what you long for, is a life that only comes by “setting the Lord before me.”  It’s a life where you’re seeking to keep your mind and your heart constantly aware of God’s presence and His promises.

I would love to hear any ideas/practices/disciplines you’ve established in your life to help yourself “set the Lord before” and live in the conscious awareness of God’s presence.



9 Responses to “A Collection of Moments”

  1. Aaron says:

    I’m an especially poor excuse for a Christian but particularly in this area. Thank you God for your grace! Some practices I use to try to get me to put the Lord before me more during my day:

    1. Write bible verses, quotes, sermon notes, meaningful phrases on notecards or post-its and stick them up in my cubicle, mirrors, refrigerator and car windshield so I’m forced to look at them and think about them during daily activities.

    2. Get a thick rubber band and write the same things plus the names of people/places/things I want to be praying for on it and wear it around my wrist so I’m forced to glance at it and hopefully pause for a brief second whenever I’m doing anything with my hands.

    Of course the trick is not to let these visual reminders to myself to become so commonplace/routine that I get blind to them and they become like wallpaper that I just don’t even see anymore.

  2. Pete Wilson says:

    Great suggestions Aaron. I’ve found #2 especially helpful for me at times.

    And don’t beat yourself up. I think we’re all learning how to live this “with God” life together. I feel like it’s more difficult than ever before with all of the distractions we have in our current culture.

  3. Brian Allain says:

    Hello Pete. Great article. I am a big Buechner fan as well, so I thought I would let you know that he now has a great website (his first!): http://www.frederickbuechner.com.

  4. Jason Cormier says:

    I get out into the woods alone as often as possible, there I talk with God and empty my soul…

  5. Beth Coulton says:

    I have, in recent years, been in the practice of looking for Him everywhere, at every moment. I’m always amazed at where I see Him- in big times and in small, unannounced times. And I LOVE when I hear others tell these mind-blowing “coincidence” stories, and I get to say, “That’s divine! That’s GOD!” Not always sure how the hearer will react to me saying that, but I say it anyway! So cool when that happens.

  6. Karen says:

    The book “1000 Gifts” has definitely changed my persepective and helped to “set the Lord always before me.” By not just giving God a blanket thank you for everything in my life, but by writing down every little teensy, tiny thing that makes me smile, and viewing all those things as a gift from God just for me because He loves me and knows that it makes me smile; it then causes me to look for Him even more. It helps make me consciously aware that He is involved in every moment of my life….and all those things that make me smile, those are His gifts to me…..and if He cares that much about the little things, just think how much He cares and is actively involved in what I consider the “big” things in my life.

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