Brother Lawrence, whose life of devotion continues to amaze me, writes a letter describing ever so briefly “the method by which [he] arrived at that habitual sense of GOD’S Presence.” I pause here. I have been elevating Bro. Lawrence’s life of devotion and wondering if I will ever be able to match it. I’ve even commented, “if I could be half the man that Bro. Lawrence was. . .(except that I’m a woman, of course!).” An all too familiar phrase that elevates one by de-elevating ourselves. Trap! Wrong perspective. . .especially considering the title of this blog series: “Perspectives from Brother Lawrence.”
On the 6th blog of this series, I pause to meditate on the title of this collection of writings regarding Bro. Lawrence. Practice of the Presence of God. The key word, of course, is “practice.” I desperately seek what Bro. Lawrence references as the “habitual sense of God’s Presence.” With great joy, I am discovering that this is not a supernatural gift or an experience for the few. On the contrary, it is a discipline that requires practice. And, if I may add, patience! With practice, the Presence of God becomes a Divine Habit, if you will.
Bro. Lawrence shares from his own experiences in developing such a Divine Habit,
I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His holy Presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. I found no small pain in this exercise, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that occurred, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily.
What I appreciate most in this confession is his humanity. My mind wanders from the Presence of God all the time!! Sadly, I have a tendency to beat myself up when it happens. Not Bro. Lawrence. He simply recalled his mind to focus upward and continued in his practice.
Father, I seek you most earnestly. Teach me to practice the Presence of God by Your grace. Be ever before me in all that I do. May my mind linger on you giving praise, glory, and adoration for all things come what may.