How do I engage in His presence at each moment, with all that I am, with all these task piling up on my desk?
I’ve learned from Brother Lawrence not to fret. He constantly worked with nimble hands as a clumsy cook in a monetary kitchen thinking mostly of our Almighty Father. Written of him by his close friend, Joseph de Beaufort, “Brother Lawrence’s heartfelt goal was to think of nothing but God. If he did allow some time to pass without thinking of Him, he did not grow upset about it. Once he confessed his weakness to God, he returned to him with all the more confidence and joy because he had found himself so unhappy apart from God’s presence.”
You see, to my normal office mate, I'm working on an e-mail, a fact checking form or scheduling an important appointment in my calendar. But really, my mind is swirling about God. It's churning these ideas about this grace I receive so freely, this excitement and joy, yet deep grief for those on the outside. As my peace and contentment grows, so too does this fire within me that causes me to tear up. I find my tasks are completely secondary. In one window I have Entorage, in another I'm reading a Psalm. One ear is empty, the other budded with music that represents the desire of my heart to only have more time with my God.
But sometimes this juxtaposition vexes me. How do I find contentment while my mind is running itself into a tangle of thoughts?
The closer I am to the Lord, the more my mind runs with ideas of him only. The world doesn't understand me. And my counterparts have found a place that is comfortable within the confines of the world. I am alone in my thoughts. Not many of those around me really understand what I'm thinking. The more I rattle on about these daily journeys with the Lord, they ask, "Are you sure God is asking you to listen to Him at all times? Don't you just want to check out?" At times, I have become discouraged to speak. So, I shut up. I wait for the right moment. I keep these thoughts of eternity, grace, freedom, love...longing, yearning, aching love, to myself. Still burning for them to know the freedom that I’ve found. And ever thinking of God.
Even that which I am walking through right now isn't a struggle with external sin. I'm done with that. I no longer seek these unfulfilling things like drunkenness or lust. I found those once before and I hated myself. I was restless. But now, I want so badly to be pure. I want to dwell with the Almighty at all times. But I'm blessed to do these tasks, however menial they are. Because it’s not about the tasks. Its about these people. To sit beside the blind and offer vision, that’s my mission. To feed the hungry with the wisdom that I seek and have found, that’s my ministry. To clothe the naked from their shame, that’s what I offer.
But some of you are skeptical because entering to a place of constant “God thought” is not easy. It requires sacrifice and work. I came to this place as I read scripture after scripture on keeping our minds pure and thinking on the right things. Until recently, I didn’t know how that looked or if anyone else was doing it. But the more I read, the more my mind wandered to how much God loved me. How much I want to hear from him everyday. How I want to be that pure person. However, I still want confirmation that someone out there is doing this same thing. Not just attending a church service. Not just putting on their Christian hat on Sunday, but actually seeking Him constantly.
In my search for another God thinker, I feel that I have finally consulted an expert. Joyce Meyer. Now, mind you, I have been averse to female Christian authors for the past 6 months, distracted by the pink book covers and the "you go girl" attitude. I wanted stripped down, manuscript styled design as not to distract from the task at hand: learning more about God’s word. So when I got the e-mail from Hennepin County Library saying my book, Battlefield of the Mind, had been delivered to the GV location, I scheduled a tentative book pickup.
I managed to make my way to the shelf with my hold number sticking out. “167….something, something, something.” And you know what I found? The cover was blue with the most neutral graphic: chess pieces.
Now that I’ve passed the stereotypes, and have read nearly half of the “two-million copies sold” best seller, I can honestly say, I am not alone in seeking the Lord each moment. Joyce Meyer wrote a book on it. Two million people have a copy of it. Some should be allowing her breakdown of scripture penetrate them.
But my question this time around is: what are you thinking about?
Paul writes in Romans, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The world is going to tell you to think about all the worries of life. It's going to distract you from the true things that make you full of joy and peace. But the pattern of the world isn't fulfilling in any aspect of life. So why not try to think on good things? Higher things?
You want direction? Transform your mind and think of him as Paul instructs. Take some time for this today.