Thursday, September 13, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

Brother Lawrence tells us, "The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company..." (p. 59) To achieve anything good in life, we must practice. Even the most talented of people have to practice to become better. If we want to be the best we were created to be, we must practice. But the trick is that it is not practicing the behavior of being perfect, but practicing the behavior of being in the presence of God. As we are in God's presence, He will lead us to become more perfect in our being.
So how do we practice to become perfect? As Brother Lawrence says, "We must try to converse with God in little ways while we do our work...purely and simply reveal our hearts.." We can be in the same room with someone, and not converse with them. We must make the effort to be in a conversation. It is the same with God. Since God is always present with us, we need to make the effort to converse with God. And the conversation doesn't need to be deep and earth shattering. Just simple thoughts. And it doesn't have to be in a quiet sanctuary. It can happen while you are doing your work, driving your car, or walking down the street!
What will help us in this process, is as Brother Lawrence says (p. 61) "...believing that He really lives in our hearts..." When we believe this, it becomes real to us and we can know. Even more, we experience God's presence the more we live our this belief. In our coming to God in this way, we allow God to have "His good pleasure to do with each of us whatever He chooses.." This is when the joy of life really comes upon us.