Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
God is everywhere. That just about says it all. No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, no matter how alone we feel, God is present. I know that some people grew up with the idea that God is something like “Big Brother” watching them, waiting for them to mess up and knock them down. But the reality is so much different – and better. The Bible tells stories of God loving the people, watching over them, and guiding them. Many of the Old Testament psalms remind us that in our darkest times, God is present, guiding, strengthening, sometimes chastising, always loving.
Sometimes when I work with people and their dogs, I ask them to notice when your dog was doing something right, such as sit or down, or playing with their own toys, and giving their dogs attention when they are doing something right. Usually we notice when our dogs do something we don’t like, like jumping on people or chewing our good shoes. We often miss when they are doing something right. We are simply not observant of those things. Our meditation is also about noticing – noticing God. If God is always present, always with us, most of us often miss those signs. One of the questions I am in the habit of asking is “what was my closest moment to God today?” The question is about noticing God. Sometime the answer reflects when I saw God in the actions of another, sometimes it reflects a time when I felt convicted by something I had done, sometimes it reflects a time when I felt I was especially faithful in the way I have treated another person. The answer varies, but the question keeps me aware and looking for signs of God’s presence in my day. When I use this with groups, often the first several times I ask the question people struggle a bit to think of something. They were not in the habit of going about the day looking for signs of God. But after a while, they would come to our meetings excited about the stories they had to share. They had learned to look, and the more the looked, the more they saw.
The following meditations will build on this theme of noticing God by focusing on characteristics of God, but for today, if you are doing this meditation at the beginning of the day, enter this day with an intent to look for signs of God’s presence around you, in you, and in the people you encounter. If you are doing this meditation at the end of the day, look back over the events of the day. What were the signs of God’s presence throughout the day?
- What was your closest moment to God today?