practicing in the moments of my walking around life

God is here.

He is present.

we just don't always know it.

excuse me, i just don't always know it (because i certainly can't speak for you). i'm not always aware.
but i want to be.
been working on that for years. getting better at practicing His presence... at being here. but still working on it.

i love Eugene Peterson's working of Romans 12:1-2 in The Message...
"So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out."

that's the idea - place every moment of my life before God as an offering. even the sleeping, eating, going to work, walking around moments!

i believe there are rhythms and habits we can build into life to help us be more aware of God's presence and worship constantly.

***here are actually a 7 habits/disciplines/practices i've been trying suggested by Brian McLaren. i recommend giving them a go for a few weeks & see what you think.

1) Give God the 1stgreeting every morning.
Turn my attention to God before I even open my eyes. this is tough. but it accomplishes SO MANY things = keeps me humble, centers my attention on God at the beginning, reminds me what i'm living for, and infuses a worshipful and thankful attitude into my day from the very beginning. because usually i find myself saying - "Thanks, God. Thanks for another day. even though it's dark outside and my knees ache and i would rather go back to bed... thanks for this breath & the chance to live another day."

2) Give God the 1stthanks at every meal.
It reminds me of my "creatureliness" – like birds and animals, I’m dependent on God for my daily sustenance. and it makes me very thankful. i stopped "ritualistically" praying before meals in college. i pray for meals sometimes at beginning, middle, end, whenev the thankfulness genuinely hits me. Or a lot of times i simply raise my plate or bowl and say "to the King" - a little adaptation on this practice Crystal and i picked up at the Havilla Children's Home in Kenya.

3) Give God the 1stresponse to every pleasure.
This is a big one for me and one i'm really trying hard to implement at every opportunity!

here's the best way i can explain it:
do you know that feeling of seeing/witnessing something marvelous and awesome and wishing your spouse or a friend were there to see it with you? like an amazing sunset when i'm all by myself. it's the breathtaking kind. makes you say "wow" out loud. & then i think "i wish Crystal were here to see this with me."

Or like at Catalyst when 15,000 people had this app that started blinking neon colored lights on our phones synced with the blinking neon lights of the stage & choreographed with the Michael Jackson songs being played... it was amazing. but my wife was out of the room at the moment and i thought "man, i wish she were here to experience this moment with me, because i'll never be able to explain this..."

– i want to learn to share all those moments & all that joy with God who is actually there in those moments.
and really He’s sharing His joy with me as we experience it together.

it's worship for me to see the sunset and be amazed by it. but to share that pleasure with the Creator of it... that's euphoric.

and i'm talking everything. even the crazy app that made all our phones flash neon colors. even watching an amazing soccer game - i want to take a moment to share that pleasure with God. to be thankful for giving someone the creativity to invent such a beautiful game where such beauty and creativity can be expressed in the middle of a field. or even to have the ability to step out onto a soccer field on a beautiful day. that brings me such pleasure. and i want to share that pleasure with God.

or when i look into my baby daughter's eyes and she looks at me and laughs her splendidly beautiful laugh... i can't even begin to explain the pleasure that comes from her. i want to be conscious and share that pleasure with God. because He's there & He's taking pleasure in it too.

*Think about this for just 1 second (because any more & it will blow our little brains) -
God sees and experiences EVERY SINGLE one of these beautiful parts of creation ALL AT ONCE! billions of these all at the same time.
“Imagine, then, the joy of God, as God sees how wonderful these things are, and God savors their goodness, and God takes pleasure in them as artists take holy pride in their creations.” (McLaren helps our minds blow even further with that thought.)

so, in this kind of every day worship we take notice in the art & the Artist! we appreciate the art and therefore, the Artist. the creation and the Creator. In this way we share in God’s joy + add to it through our spontaneous worship.

“With practice, it becomes natural and instinctive to turn to God as our first response to all experiences of pleasure or beauty.”

we have a lot of practicing to do.

(the final 4 practices coming in tomorrow's post.)