Practicing the Presence of God

I find it very difficult to actually meditate in any prescribed way. I also find that I spend my time excluding thoughts that enter my mind. Saying this I have adopted another way of meditating. Each morning I rise with a small prayer of thanksgiving for being alive. Knowing that my days are full, I try to spend the first hour after waking reading Bible passages from both the Hebrew and Christian texts.

From this, I orient myself in the mode of prayer, opening my soul to welcome the presence of God within me. This practice allows me to feel His presence in me in everything that I do and with every breath I take during the day. (My spiritual advisor calls this praying all day.) In my prayers and chores during the day I listen for the Word; this keeps me focused on the tasks at hand, knowing that God is guiding my actions. Love is with and within me.

As I sit and write on my patio, I am surrounded by God’s creation; we recently discovered a Goldfinch nest in one of our bushes. Knowing that this small family has found a home with us gives me pause to thank God for all He does for me and for others. Our true home is in the loving arms of God. And, as the little finch, we feel safe in our small world.

With members of my church, I have tried several times to try to bring God into my life in various ways. I know that chanting is very big with many people; at St. Georges’ Episcopal church, we have a very active Taizé service. Unfortunately, this is more of a distraction to me than an aid to bring meditation and God into my being.

I return to my form of meditation which is an awakening to my breath. With every breath I take over the course of the day, I expel what harms me and I inhale the Love, Wisdom, and beauty of God’s presence in my life. In a word, I am practicing the presence of God all the time. It is a gift from Him that I cherish and share.

© Russell Kendall Carter

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