God is with us. We know that in our heads, but it is hard to experience that every day. It seems like only on special Sunday mornings, when communion is particularly meaningful, that we feel God with us. Communion and Baptism are Sacraments with a capital “S”. But God is in, with and under every part of our day, so that every moment and every thing is a sacrament, if we acknowledge it.
During Advent, why not add a small step toward a new habit of seeing God in everything? Use things you do every day. Use language that you speak every day. And every time you do it, invite God to enjoy it with you. It will make you smile, and I believe it will make God smile too.
Here are ten tiny steps to be aware of God every day and in every place.
1. Breathe. Do you breathe? Great! It’s a fine place to start. When you wake up, take 2 big breaths. During the first breath tell God “I am!” Let the next breath be from God saying back to you “I am!” Repeat as necessary any time during the day. Thomas Keating says that God’s presence is a gift, closer to us than breathing, than thinking, and even closer than consciousness itself. You don’t need a silent church pew or a remote holy isle to access it. God’s presence, love and grace are already there waiting to greet you wherever you are. Pausing to notice your breath can be a great tool to remember this–you always have your breath with you.
2. Email. Find a prayer that you like and cut and paste it into your email inbox every night before you go to sleep. It will be one of the first things you see in the morning. Not a smart phone person? Try copying out a prayer and put it in your coffee cup before you go to bed. Need a prayer idea? How about, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8. If that is too long, how about, “God, help me to stick close to you and let’s see what today will bring!”
3. Shower/brush your teeth. Use this time to really feel the water. At the turn of a faucet, you have clean, warm water! Think about all those who walk for miles to carry home dirty water. Think about your baptism and how in that water you are joined together with all the Christians in the world.
4. Recycle. Every time you throw a bottle or cereal box into the recycle bin, say “Thanks God, for this good earth! You did a great job!”
5. Pray grace. During Advent, why not choose a different grace for mealtimes? Sometimes we get so used to our grace that we don’t even hear what we are praying. If not a whole new prayer, try adding “Praise to the Lord the Almighty the God of Creation” to the end of your own grace.
6. Pick up something that fell. Instead of cussing under your breath, try “thanks God” as in, “I needed that moment to change my thought pattern and also thanks for the extra exercise!”
7. Hitting red lights in your commute? Try praying the Lord’s Prayer. It’s about the right length.
8. Video/computer games. Jesus got a lot of flak for hanging out with people and eating and drinking. I’m convinced that if he were on earth now, he’d be a gamer. So, just as you pick up the controller think “hey Jesus, wanna play?”
9. Try using your car keys as prayer beads. Each key will remind you of a person in your life – house key, car key, key to Mom’s house, etc. Try holding each person up to God.
10. Do you think God is grossed out or scandalized when you go to the bathroom? God knows how your plumbing works! As you grab the TP, remember to thank God for your awesome body and for this wonderful life!
Beginning Sunday, November 30th, LEAD will share daily inspirational Advent reflections including photos, artwork and videos on Facebook. “Like” the LEAD Facebook page to see God in the world and in the people around you.
Lynn passionately believes that every life is fuller when the mystery of God is recognized. To that end, she edits the Soul portion of the LEAD website, hoping that as we work as disciples, we walk humbly with God. Lynn is a member of Spiritual Directors International and is a student at Formation in Direction, Bryan Texas.