How Can We Embody Our Presence to God?
by Mark Votava
Sometimes I am convinced that God has left and abandoned me to be alone in the world to figure things out by myself. I have this idea that sometimes God comes and goes. I have this idea that I can come in and out of God’s presence at times. This duality is ruining my life and is damaging me.
- I am the one who is absent
I am coming to understand that it is not God who is absent from life, but I am the one who is absent and not faithfully present to God in the context of the place that I live. I have forgotten my own presence. I have lost my own voice in the midst of everyday life. My own responsibility to be present to the realities of life, God and culture have slipped away from me somehow.
- It is not God who is absent, it is you who are absent
Lauren F. Winner writes, “Another thing you think, when you have come to God’s absence, is this: it is not God who is absent at all, it is you who are absent…”
- The most forming thing we can do in everyday life
God’s absence is a perception that I have developed to keep me from taking responsibility to my own faithful presence. Responsibility is one of the hardest things to learn and can be difficult. Our practice of presence will be the most forming thing we can do in everyday life. It entails love, grace, humility, listening, awareness, solitude and embodiment.
- God is revealed constantly to us through our ordinary moments
I need to become aware of God’s presence of beauty and goodness in everyday life. We say that God is omnipresent, but do we believe this living with an intentional awareness to become present ourselves to this reality. God is revealed constantly to us through our ordinary moments. Will we live blind to this fact or cry out to God to heal us from our blindness that causes dualistic thinking and fragmentation?
- Our human experience is where we experience God
Our human experience is where we experience God. It is in our body, in our breath, in our flesh, in our movements, in our words, in our listening, in our resting, in our playing that we become present to God. The bodily experience of our humanity is where God is revealed to us. This cannot be devalued and ignored!
- Flesh and blood and time and space
“What a paradox: that we connect with God,” states Anne Lamott, “with divinity, in our flesh and blood and time and space. We connect with God in our humanity…”
- Our identity, our passion, our purpose, our life’s intention
Through our flesh and blood, we find union with God. Throughout our lives as we experience more we evolve through wisdom, love and grace. Our humility develops as we become aware of our presence to God in everyday life. Our presence to God becomes our identity, our passion, our purpose, our life’s intention.
What causes us to lose sight of our responsibility to become present to God in everyday life?