I think I shared in one of my installments after the Revisioning Retreat at Kings' Fold that I have been haunted by Brother Lawrence--that I long to experience God's presence with me all the time. Spiritual disciplines/practices (fasting, meditation, centering prayer, solitude, lectio divina, silence, studying the Scriptures, etc.) are tools that have been used since the church began (most have their roots before then) in making space to encounter God. I know all of these; I've shared them and taught them to others. But truth be told, I'm terrible at doing them. It usually ends up that I do them just to do them. Another check off the checklist. But I don't make the space to encounter God through them. They have to move from my brain to my heart to my soul to my spirit. It's not about doing them for the sake of doing them, and it's not about doing them because they make God show up. No, in doing them, we say to God that we desire to meet Him in that time. We say that He's more important than the time that could have been used for other pursuits. And God may honor that--He often does. After all, He longs to be with us. He does have things to say to us.
So that's my quest right now. And I'm getting better. My tendency is to give up when I'm not successful. But again, the success comes in the discipline and practice of making space to encounter God. We may not meet Him intimately every time (though He's still there), but we're more likely to encounter Him in doing so than in not.
I've been having several discussions lately that this is what the church is called to do in worship more so than performing for Him or showing up in a building to sit and listen to someone talking about God (not that either is bad). But I have a feeling that this is what the church needs--what people are longing for, what God is longing for. We're not there yet. But my one small step will at least open me up to the practice of the presence of God. Anyone is welcome to join me in making space for God. It's a wonderful journey to be on.