Reflections on Faith

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom
Pastor

10/16/2016 7:55 PM

A Matter of Practice

10/16/2016 7:55 PM
10/16/2016 7:55 PM

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

I have been reading Albert Hsu’s book "The Suburban Christian" to help fuel my most recent sermon series. The book is both convicting and compelling all at the same time, often making me feel awkward and uncomfortable about the lifestyle so many of us are living. One thing in particular that grabbed me is the description he gives of a single day:

Too often I rush through my day, my mind filled with multiple agenda items and concerns, with little space for contemplation or prayer. I then sit down at dinner, about to say a perfunctory “Thanks for this food,” and I realize that I have not spoken a word to God or giving God a thought all day.

I can completely identify, and I am a pastor. My whole job is supposed to revolve around who God is and what God is doing, and yet, like so many of us, I get caught up in the day and leave God out of it. What can we do about this?

Hsu tells us that the answer is not to simply add God-time in between items on our schedule as we rush off to the next thing. The answer, which is also the challenge, is to earnestly attempt to recognize the presence of God throughout the day, in each and every thing, all the time. When you take a shower in the morning, think of it as a reminder of your baptism as the Spirit of God washes you clean inside and out. When you get dressed, ask God to clothe you with his presence. Christians call it “practicing the presence of God,” and it can reframe the way you look at your day. In fact, as one pastor puts it “by often repeating these acts they become habitual, and the presence of God becomes something that comes quite naturally to us.” It’s just a matter of practice.

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