Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Perspective of Presence

I've been looking at this whole "where are you God?" thing wrong.  Very wrong.

My counselor loaned me The Practice of the Presence of God by brother Lawrence at the end of our last session.  I asked her if she had any recommendations, any books that jumped out at her as "me" kind of books.  She thought and thought, looked around her office, and said, "Here.  Read this one."  I'm not certain that she was certain this was the type of book I was seeking, but on a whim she selected this book. And this book couldn't have been more what I needed at this very moment.  

In my last post I wrote:
I read.  I write.  I pray.  I cry from loneliness.  I fear I am damaged (like actually).  My life is okay -- each day rarely brings complaints -- but I worry this is it.  I know there is another way of living, a different way of being and existing that I want to possess -- there has to be.  This life is too blah to be all that there is.  
But what is it?  I know I want it and I know I don't have it, but I don't know what it is.  And if it is anything like forgiveness, then I don't even think I should have it in the first place. 
Where are the things God promised?  These were the words which ended my post.  It hurt to write this.  And to experience this doubt, to experience this loneliness and separation from the Lord -- the only reason I am good at my core, the only way I will survive this world and the pain it has caused and the pain it will bring -- left me empty.  My body felt like jello; my limbs were as lame as my heart.

I wanted to do some reading before bedtime last night.  I am working to finish this 700-page James Michener book -- and believe me, it is work.  The Drifters -- I enjoy it, and I don't enjoy it.  In places it's less than I expected, and in other places it's more than I expected.  Do I like the book?  Yes.  Would I recommend it?  No.  But the thought of not finishing a book is crazy talk to me.  My mind wrestled with what to read.  I need to finish the Michener book.  It would be nice reading, a nice escape from recent internal struggles.  But the book my counselor gave me -- I haven't started it yet.  It's a short book.  It is sure to help me and I'm interested in what it talks about.

This could have gone on forever.  And it definitely went on longer than needed.  I decided on the book from my counselor -- she has never let me down with her book/article recommendations.  So brother Lawrence it was.  Within a few pages, Monday's cry from loneliness was bandaged up with one simple paragraph.
Brother Lawrence was content doing even the smallest chore if he could do it for the love of God.  He even found himself quite well off, which he attributed to the fact that he sought only God, and not His gifts.  He believed that God is much greater than any of the simple gifts He gives us.  Rather than desiring them from Him, he chose to look beyond the gift, hoping to learn more about God Himself.  Sometimes he even wished that he could avoid receiving his reward, so that would have the pleasure of doing something solely for God.  (pg.10)
 I have been combing over these words since last night.  I woke up thinking about these words; I cannot stop thinking about these words.  To seek only God, and not His gifts.  God is greater than any of the gifts He gives us.  He is greater than love.  He is greater than truth.  He is greater than patience.  He is greater than patience!  He created it all and He gives it all; He is literally the master of all things.

And here I am.  Little Kristin seeking rewards I think I should have, utilizing God to experience the things I wish to experience -- to move me away from this place I don't think I should be.  Perhaps there are rewards all around me!  Maybe this is exactly where God wants me to be, where He put me to be!  To seek only God, and not His gifts.  To love Him and love Him and love Him -- just because.  To be content doing everything because everything is for the Lord; He is at the center of all tasks.  He created tasks!  To seek Him and find Him and learn about Him, to create and strengthen my relationship with Him who is greater than relationships.  

If God could say anything to me right now, I think He would say, Open your eyes, Kristin, and just let Me love you.

1 comment:

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