Showing Up for God

Years ago, when my son was a teenager, I pulled a book from a church shelf and opened to these words: “An hour a day in prayer will affect not only you, but everyone in your home.” Things were tense around our house at that time, and I wanted the peace that passage promised! So I started a daily practice of scripture reading, journal writing, and quiet contemplation. That practice changed my life. It gave me an anchor, a base from which to start my day, rooted in the calm assurance of God’s presence rather than pulled apart by competing wants, needs, and obligations.

My faith deepened. My joy increased. And yes, the rest of my family benefited, too. Then I started seminary and that daily practice went out the window. Ironic, isn’t it? I went to seminary to grow closer to God, but the analytical study has had the opposite effect. Stuffing my brain with information has left little time, or inclination, for just hanging out with God. I find myself questioning many of the constructs I took for granted a few short years ago. Thinking about God is not the same thing as experiencing God, finding communion with the Divine Mystery that lights the world.

And so it’s time to pray again. I’ve recommitted myself to a morning practice of showing up for God. Making myself available to whatever aspect of the Mystery wants so show itself to me that day. Sometimes that’s a deeper layer of emotion than I knew was there. Other times it’s a thought sparked by scripture or spiritual reading. Sometimes there’s silence. Or questioning. And occasionally, deep joy. Often it’s just the comfort of knowing that I am there, making the effort, bringing myself into relationship with God.

How do you show up for God? Do you notice a difference in your daily life when you set aside a time to pray?

Please share your thoughts and experiences, if you feel comfortable. Let’s support one another on our journeying with God.