Looking … Looking … Looking … There You Are!

by Ray Reuter on December 28, 2017

This holiday season brought with it the usual grandchildren’s Christmas programs. Jude’s pre-school class came out first and lined up. Every child was looking … looking … looking … for their parents, grandparents, family members. They all had a look of consternation and fear … where are they?! And then, when they connected with their loved ones — INSTANT grin! There you are! I found you!

The truth was we were present the whole time, it was simply that Jude and the other children could not see who they were looking for initially. And that caused fear and doubt to creep in. For a brief moment, they believed they were all alone. And then, PRESTO! All is calm, all is bright!

We chuckle at this story but it is true for all of us, especially when we are suffering, doing something outside our comfort zone, stuck in a difficult situation. We have those doubts that creep up: I’m alone in this, I have to do this by myself, no one’s gonna help me. Yikes! And so, like a child, we want to look for and turn to God and realize, “Lord, you are with me. You are here. You are everywhere. There’s nowhere I can go that You are not already perfectly and fully present.”

Practicing the Presence of God is another way of saying this. If two people are alone in a room together, they cannot help but be aware of one another’s presence. This is true even if they do not speak, and even if they are individually engaged in an activity that holds their immediate attention. Their activity does not impede their awareness that the other person is in the room with them. We can apply this to our relationship with God. Although we cannot see Him, we can train ourselves, even in the midst of activity and busyness, to be aware of His presence. In this way we begin to practice the presence of God by using our spiritual eyes of faith.

If we know that God is with us, we should not ignore His presence or act as if He is not there. If fact, a sure way to offend another person who is near us is to ignore them and behave as if they do not exist. Practicing the presence of God means to live each day knowing God is there with us, because this is reality. This is what we celebrate this time of year. The Incarnation … Advent … Christmas … REJOICE! Emmanuel has come. GOD IS PRESENT WITH US NOW.

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