When I was in college, I remember sitting alone in the old A-frame “BSU” building. (BSU stood for Baptist Student Union. I don’t know that any of us were consciously baptists. That’s just what they called it.)
I was sitting there waiting to meet with the BSU director because, if I remember correctly, I was on a worship team, and so the director thought it would be a good idea to meet with the ones in positions of leadership, to make sure our souls were doing well. And I must clarify–I wasn’t a worship leader, myself. I mostly just played guitar and sang a bit out of tune, but they were desperate for help, so I thought it would be “cool” to join in. By the way, I think that was the last time I actually felt cool, when I was carrying my guitar around campus. Now, I occasionally go to the mall and I’m like, “Wow. I wore the best thing I had today and I’m not even close to being cool.”
I was sitting there, in the quiet, by myself, thinking deep thoughts about life and God. Those thoughts went something like this:
God is real. Huh. That’s strange. God. is. real.
If God is real, then that’s really important. If God really is actually real, then that’s like, realllllly important because He must be the most important person there is. I mean, I can’t think of anyone more important than the Person who made everything else. And if God is real, and if He’s the most important Person, then I can’t think of anything more important to do in this life, than getting to know Him.
Wait. What am I doing with my life?
And then I started laughing. Because for some reason it struck me both as terribly profound and awfully hilarious. I wanted to shout it out to all my unsuspecting classmates on their way to the cafeteria for supper:
“OH MY WORD, PEOPLE! What are we DOING WITH OUR LIVES??! God is REAL! We need to know Him!”
And that, perhaps, began my journey of taking God pretty seriously.
Okay, let’s back up for a second. I’d been introduced to God at an early age. My parents adopted me when I was seven, and they were God-believers and Jesus-followers so I just simply believed in Him the moment I was told about Him. It made perfect sense to me.
But, I also remember going all day long without ever thinking about God and then I’d get home from school and eat supper and do some homework and play in the yard until twilight and take a shower and get all tucked into bed and then remember, “Oh yeah. God. I forgot about God.” So, I would pray this little child-like prayer, “God. I’m sorry for forgetting all about You today. I only remembered You for about three minutes. Seems like I should remember You more since You’re God. Please help me to think about you more tomorrow.”
And that was when I began my journey of living a God-conscious life.
Now, some folks probably wonder if it’s even possible, in a world jam-packed with noise and distraction and busyness, to think about God all the time. I do not know. But, I can say, (and I don’t say this pridefully, but out of a live lived in curiosity and wonder in the God who made me and loves me) that we can train ourselves to think of God most of the time.
If nothing else, this is my testimony and my life’s pursuit– getting to daily experience the companionship and friendship of Jesus.
God is here. He is here with us now. Whether we spend most of our day at the office. Or at the house. In our quest to know God as well as He knows us, we can cultivate a life lived in His Presence. This changes everything.
Our Heavenly Father has made it easy enough for us, too. He made faith so easy that even a child can believe. And He made the way to Him so accessible, so that all we have to do is pray. A deaf person can pray. Or a blind person. Or a person who can’t walk. Or a person with no money, or a person with a lot of money. A greatly influential person can pray as well as a person who is oppressed. Prayer is a very easy thing for us to do. And when we open our hearts (with that child-like faith) and let the idea of God’s glory and realness animate our daily lives, before we know it, we’ll actually start to recognize His movements. We begin to hear His language spoken everywhere.
There in our children’s faces. There, in the morning doves, right outside the window. There in the chicory blooming in the ditch. There in that song playing on the radio. There in that light seeping through the trees. There in our neighbor’s kindness. There in the pain of all our problems, even. There in our own deep, reflective thoughts.
It is possible for us to live a life where we are always aware of God and experiencing His Presence. He steadies us. His nearness brings us peace. This is what I’m after. Seems I’m always after some peace.
I asked God the other day, how to stay steady when the world knocks me around. And how to stay peaceful when my emotions toss me about. And how to stay constant when my circumstances change and my feelings flux and one day it’s sunlight and the next day it’s rain.
He reminded me of a paper cup in the wind. Have you ever driven down the road and noticed a cup being tossed about, all over the street? That little flimsy cup has no chance of being stable with all the vehicles driving past. But, if you fill the cup with water, right up to the brim, it’ll stand. The breeze can blow against it, but it’ll remain stable because it’s full.
That’s how we are with God. People and politics and our shifting health and our circumstances and our own crazy emotions daily sling and hurl us about. But, when we are filled up with God’s Spirit, when we’re full of Jesus, we can stand. Stable. And constant. And steady. And peaceful. But, we have to first believe that He exists and then we have to come to Him for the filling. Moment-by-moment. A God-conscious life.
I am most alive and well when I am most drenched in God. Filled up to the brim with Him. He is real! He is here. He is so extremely important that it makes me want to laugh at the hilarity of thinking anything else is as important as knowing Him.
And He is what I’m after.
Are you with me?
(Peace to you, my friends.)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)