I’d first like to begin by expressing a heartfelt word of appreciation to all who wrote chapter reviews of Present Perfect. They were clear, thoughtful and inspiring. Thank you!
Are you awake?
I am becoming increasingly convinced that Brother Lawrence was absolutely right when he maintained that Practicing the Presence of God is not only the most important spiritual discipline: it is, in truth, the goal of all other spiritual disciplines. What is the ultimate goal of prayer, meditation, fasting, resting, simplicity, even service and hospitality if not to increase our capacity to consciously remain in God’s loving presence, submitted to his will, moment-by-moment?
At the same time, as I discussed in the book, the Practice of the Presence is really nothing more than another way of saying, “Make Jesus Christ Lord of you life,” for the only “life” we have to make him “Lord” over is the one we are living this moment…
and now, in this moment.
Are you awake?
This discipline is not only foundational to living life in the kingdom, it is its essence. It’s what it means to live under the reign of God. A life submitted to the reign of God that isn’t submitted moment-by-moment is a mere abstraction.
Which makes me wonder why this discipline is so infrequently discussed, and even less frequently embarked upon, by Jesus followers. It strikes me as very odd and almost tragic. Like Martha, we allow ourselves to get caught up doing a multitude of things for Jesus, but forget that the “one thing that is needful” is to remain in the presence of Jesus – even and especially when we’re doing things for him.
This is why I’m truly thankful for folks like you who took the time not only to read Present Perfect but to publicly discuss it. I encourage you to continue to spread the Good News: God is here and now! Encourage people not to miss him in the NOW. The church today is largely asleep. For 99% of their waking moments, most Jesus followers forget God exists here and now. We believe Jesus is Lord, but we have a mindset that excludes him most of the time.
The church is a proverbial sleeping giant. We need to wake up, moment by moment.
We can all play a role in this novel. Lets together agree to not only continue to cultivate an awareness of God’s loving presence, moment-by-moment, but to encourage others to do so. Invite those you are in relationship with to help you stay awake (we all need reminders, don’t we?) and encourage them to invite you to do the same. As Frank Lauback noted, staying mindful of Gods’ presence is best done in community with others. It really takes a village to stay awake.
This moment is all we have, and all we need. He is here! He is now!
Are we awake?
With love and appreciation,