Thursday, June 03, 2010
This week our blog group tackles the question "What is your favorite show or book?" As I was thinking about that, I thought about the many shows I like to watch. But I couldn't pinpoint any one as my "favorite." The same was true of all the fiction books I read. They have their entertaining value, but don't warrant for me the title "favorite." So I thought some more, and finally came up with "The Practice of the Presence of God," by Brother Lawrence.
I have actually done a whole blog series on this book back in the summer of 2007. So let me tell you why this is my favorite book. First, other than the Bible (which might technically be my favorite book), this book has probably impacted my life more than any other. Brother Lawrence was a simple cook and custodian at a monastery, but he had deep insights into the way God connects with us in every day life. He discovered that he could practice being aware of God's presence in his life in a way that is continuous. By doing this he was able to receive God's loving presence more regularly in his life.
I learned that the key is learning how to abandon our selfish desires, and give ourselves totally to God. Brother Lawrence says: "I sacrificed all of the pleasures in my life to God. But rather than punishing me, God gave me nothing but wholehearted satisfaction." By giving ourselves to God, we can learn how to live for God, and by living for God we gain satisfaction in our lives.
From this book I also learned that in giving ourselves to God, we need to learn how to be faithful, even in the dry periods. I know that there are ups and downs in our lives and in our faith. Through this book I discovered that in those times when we don't feel close to God, in those times when we don't feel like life is going well, we need to be even more determined to surrender ourselves to God and trust God.
Because of this book, I truly feel that I have constant conversation with God, and awareness of God's presence in my life. This transforms my daily living, because I don't have to have all the answers, I know that God is there to help me with the answers; I don't have to have all the strength, God will give me His strength; I don't have to have it all together, because God is right here with me to work out the good.
I would love to know what your favorite book is. Blessings.