Thursday, June 28, 2007

God's Presence 3 (Making Life Rich)

As I continue in my series on "The Practice of the Presence of God," and the differenece it has made in my life, we move to the "Second Conversation," as he talks with his good friend Joseph de Beaufort. Brother Lawrence talks about what makes his life so rich is that he doesn't seek gifts, but rather seeks God only. For him, just living and doing the chores he was given to do satisfies him in his life. He says that "Sometimes he even wished that he could avoid receiving his reward, so that he would have the pleasure of doing something solely for God."
This thinking has really helped me because it frees me from having to please others. It reminds me that we are created by God for the purpose of being God's children. If we are always trying to please someone else, we will be living to fulfill their expectations for us, instead of living out God's will for our lives!
Brother Lawrence confesses that in trying to continuously converse with God, it took some work. But after a little practice it all became quite easy. Often he would say to God: "Lord, I will never be able to do that if you don't help me." After this prayer he would feel more strength.
I know in my own life, once it became a habit, second nature, to think about God, it was easier to regularly converse with God. I don't even have to think now, because talking to God is just part of my daily routine. I regularly think about God and lift my thoughts, concerns, anxiety, and questions to God.
The only thing Brother Lawrence sought after was to not offend God. This too can be easily forgotten. We make life about ourselves or about others. In doing this we leave God out of the equation. My challenge to you and me is to seek God; make our lives about pleasing God.