Practicing His Presence - Part 1

For decades when I used to make New Year’s resolutions, I would keep recycling the same one. I had this constant desire to pray without ceasing as Paul talks about in 1 Thessalonians 5:16. This practice seemed so attractive to me, I really wanted to be able to be consistent with it. Somehow I knew that it would lead me to great success in my Christian life, but every year as I tried to keep the momentum going, I seemed doomed to failure. A lot of my failure had to do with the fact that I was distracted. Yes, I did have ADHD and from the time I was a child, I struggled with staying on task. I remember being in class and being sidetracked by people or objects outside the window where I sat. I would constantly have to be redirected as I would get lost and off course when anything as much as breathed in my peripheral line of sight. This even occurred in high school, and I’m sure while I was in college as well. To be honest, as I’ve been writing this blog I’ve had multiple moments of distraction. This afternoon, I had to drive to a parking lot of a closed office building in a secluded area in order to ensure I stayed focused! However, I digress! Growing up I noticed that although I was plagued by distraction, I was somehow able to stay on task for the things that I wanted to accomplish and was able to achieve things I never thought possible. Yet being consistent about walking with Jesus was not a real priority. It was just a good idea.


Fast forward to the fall of my pastor and the beginning of my counseling practice. It was here that God got my attention and it was here that I made a decision that I was going to get really serious about my relationship with God and for once, He was actually going to be my first priority, regardless of the obstacles I came up against. And boy did the obstacles come!  But so did the revelations.  I had an epiphany one morning while driving home from dropping my son at school. I started thinking about my day and all that I needed to do. Then suddenly I realized that instead of talking to myself in my head, I could actually talk to God that way. It’s probably the norm for you, but for me it was revolutionary. You know when something hits you and you know you will never be the same? This was one of those times.  Our pastor had this saying that he would often repeat, “I am always on my mind.” Whenever he said it, I would laugh hysterically as if hearing it for the first time. But it was so true. I would always think about myself ad nauseam.  Sometimes it would even make me sick to think of myself so much. After God showed me that I could direct my thoughts to Him, I started doing it more and more. And it was as if He had become my companion, as if He was really there. It was embarrassing to admit that I was communing with God in this way for the first time and I had been a Christian for too many years to count.

Can you identify with this experience? Are you able to communicate with God in this way?