I don’t know about you, but my time and energy is too valuable to spend focusing on things I can’t change, dwelling on the past, or regretting stuff I said or did. Instead, I’m meowing and purring like a happy cat basking in the sun, licking the last of the fish from my paws and whiskers.
Last week the editors of alive magazine sent me an assignment — and the topic is the most interesting one I ever received from them! There’s a message in this for you, too. An echo of connection, a reminder that everything in your life is happening for a reason.
My newest, most favorite way to pray is to hold a situation or person lightly in my hands. I gently cup it and sit beside Jesus. Shoulder to shoulder. I lean against Him, feeling His solid warmth and powerful presence. I don’t ask for a specific outcome or pray for anything in particular.
Simply noticing your thoughts and returning to God is the thing that makes the difference. That’s what changes your brain: the act of noticing of your thoughts and turning back to God. It’s not about “succeeding” or “doing it right.” And that’s why meditation and contemplative prayer is a practice. You are literally practicing God’s presence, peace and joy…and He then naturally spills over into your daily life. He changes who you are and how you carry your burdens.
Did I tell you I joined a “Sounds of Silence” contemplative prayer group? It’s through an Anglican church; we meet in a holy little enclave just off the main sanctuary for two hours on Monday evenings. Lots of silence, reflection, and simply being still. Listening.
The belonging I’m talking about surpasses anything this world has to offer. It’s a sense of belonging to God, of knowing how much you matter — and believing that He has never, ever stopped searching for you. Jesus knows your name; you are not a “Missing Person” to Him. No matter how you feel or what you’re battling, you are not alone.
The story you’re currently caught up in isn’t the true story. There is another, greater, more real story. God is the author of that story, and His fingerprints are all over your life — even when you can’t see them. If you slow down and let Jesus catch up with you, you will start to see those fingerprints.
“There was a bat in our house!” I told my neighbor Jo as we walked our dogs through the forest. “At about 5 am, light was just dawning, and a little black bat with big wings clumsily fluttered over my head. It disappeared for a minute or two, then flew by me again. I had to duck!”