If, like me, you’ve gotten to a store only to find that you’d misread their “open hours” sign and ended up staring morosely at locked doors, this is for you.
I don’t often have epiphany moments, but this became one. As I tried to figure out how I could have missed closing time by an hour (and simultaneously mentally justifying myself), I had a sudden thought.
When I was in the second semester of my first year in college, some Christian classmates and I started to feel concerned that our faith was getting buried amidst our assignments, friends, clubs, and hobbies. We didn’t want it to be something that we briefly attended to during the weekends, and then set aside as we bounced back to the exciting and busy pace of college life on Monday.
I love working out, and I also love food! Cooking a great meal makes me incredibly fulfilled and happy, and I’ve often read cookbooks like they were novels. So, knowing how passionate I am about food and fitness, and seeing all the workout videos and amazing recipes I share on social media, you might imagine me to be a super fit gal who eats only the finest foods.
I grew up in a Christian family, but when I was a teenager, feeling overwhelmed over the world’s problems caused me to start doubting my faith. When I was 18, though, my boyfriend was a firm believer. We had some discussions on faith, and he was so sincere that I started doubting my doubts.
My day invariably begins with taking my jet-black poodle for her morning walk, an activity which is high on her list of priorities. We have a regular route which takes us about 10 minutes to complete.
Just as we’re setting out on this warm July morning, I remember that we’re out of oranges, so I decide to alter our regular route and instead head for the Carmelite mission that sits relatively secluded atop a small hill. The mission sells oranges for a couple of dollars a bag.
I am always with you, ready and willing to help, direct, comfort, love, heal, and provide for you.
I want you to bring Me into every area of your life. I don’t ask this because I want to harness or control you, but because I love you. I want to provide for you and protect you and shower you with love.
I love it when you take time to commune with Me. There don’t even have to be words, prayers, or praises involved. We can commune in the spirit if you turn your thoughts toward Me and let your mind and spirit dwell there.
We can be like two lovers who are happy at the thought of just being in each other’s presence, no words passing between them. They hold each other and gaze into each other’s eyes, and that is communication enough. Their hearts get on the same wavelength. They don’t need to communicate verbally because their closeness lets them know what the other is thinking. It can be the same with you and Me.
I’ve always been an accomplishment-oriented person. I prided myself in knowing what to do, having my to-do list all prioritized, with the most important tasks highlighted, circled, or written in large print. I’d zip around town, stopping here and there, knocking off the “minors” while on my way to accomplish another “major.”
Step 1: Choose an appropriate location. Most people find that meditation is best in quiet, uncluttered surroundings, ideally away from where they work or spend most of their waking hours. A secluded spot outside can be especially conducive. Fresh air not only renews us physically, but it also helps to illustrate how God’s Spirit can clear our minds and spirits.
“God finds ways to communicate with those who truly seek Him,” Christian author Philip Yancey wrote, “especially when we lower the volume of the surrounding static.” Nearly 300 years earlier, Isaac Newton made the same discovery, which he explained this way: “I can take my telescope and look millions of miles into space; but I can lay my telescope aside, go into my room and shut the door, and while in earnest prayer I see more of heaven and get closer to God than I can when assisted by all the telescopes … on earth.”