“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” Psalm 137:9
Our moods reveal our state of mind. Our state of mind drives our attitudes. Attitudes become our actions. Actions seal our destiny.
Can you identify your mood right now? Are you in a funky mood? A bad mood? A happy mood? Your habitual mood drives everything in your life. How do you feel most days? Tired? Anxious? Grouchy? Wounded? Sad? Your feelings reveal your habitual state of mind. But if you don’t like what’s happening in your life, you can change it for the better with a little effort.
Maybe it takes more than a little effort, but it is possible to live a better life if you practice your presence. We Christians talk a lot about God’s presence. But we often forget that we should be present, too. Paul’s mention of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” in Colossians 1:27 still includes you. You are a big part of the whole presence thing, or it doesn’t work right. The verse isn’t “Christ, but zero you.” In our efforts to give God first place we’ve forgotten that He wants us right there with Him.
Brother Lawrence was a French Carmelite brother in the 17th Century. Spending most of his life working in the kitchen at the monastery, his little book The Practice of the Presence of God is a devotional classic. “I make it my practice only to persevere in His holy presence,” he writes. “It is a habitual, silent, and secret communion of the soul with God.”
This practice helped Brother Lawrence to be himself fully to God, to himself, and to others who sought out the advice and prayers of this dishwashing spiritual director. Be present to God. Be present to yourself. Be present to others.