It’s got to be down there somewhere.
Your passion for living. Your energy for service. Your desire for the ways of The Lord. Your Christmas spirit. Buried, no doubt, under years of doing business-as-usual.
It’s a subtle shift – an almost imperceptible process – that takes a redeemed child of God from her baptismal waters to what ends up looking less like a river and more like a dried up wash in the Arizona desert. In July.
Years of stuffing the important so that we can deal with the seemingly urgent takes its toll on those of us who used to expect much from the coming of Emmanuel. Some of us truly need to find our focus and fix our eyes on Jesus, opening ourselves up to DISCOVERING God’s presence as we have never sensed Him before – that’s what we talked about last time. But others of us are yearning for something we know we already have, it’s just that its been covered by debris left over from the whirlwind of life. Unless we take disciplined measures to unearth what lies beneath, we will continue the frenzied living we’re accustomed to while our foundation gets piled over like an ancient archaeological dig (with khaki-clad university students standing by and armed with shovels).
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do my own dig. That’s what the spiritual discipline of UNCOVER is – removing the layers to uncover the good stuff. And just like a successful dig for ancient finds, we must tread carefully so as not to damage our buried treasure.
It’s got to be down there somewhere!
Here are a few ways to begin –
We get busy and blast our way through the day as if armed with dynamite. Checking off the to-do list, shuttling children to school and high-tailing it to work (because we’re always running late). Can’t eat lunch – too busy. The only time we sit is in the car or on the couch as we doze off to the disturbingly consistent bad news on TV.
In order to UNCOVER the good stuff within, we’re going to need to schedule in some slow time. Time to ask ourselves some important, daily questions and then listen to our answers. You will need a minimum of 5 minutes near the end of the day – every day – to develop this questioning habit.
Find a quiet space (lock yourself in the bathroom if necessary).
Put these questions on your smartphone.
Read and answer each one. Journal your answers if you’re so inclined.
- What am I thankful for?
- What worked in my life today?
- What didn’t work today? (Relationships? Choices? Attitudes? Behaviors? Emotions?)
- Now that I have exposed these things to God, what comes next?
- Ask God to enter your life – such as it is right now – and make you better than you are.
- Resolve to respond to God by acting in obedience to His Spirit and His Word.
Anticipate breakthroughs and surprising discoveries as you begin your daily dig! If you would like more tools like this one, consider employing the ancient practice of Examen as you review and respond to each day.
God wants to pour on the blessings! The problem is, most of the time we treat God’s gifts like those Christmas presents that make us smile as we open them but are soon added to the pile, set upon a shelf, forgotten and collecting dust.
God’s gifts – the good stuff in our lives – aren’t just meant to be opened.
They’re meant to be used.
Take time in this busy season to UNCOVER the real present…
The PRESENCE of God in your everyday life.
Check in next week for Part Three. Until then…
- Discover. Uncover. Recover. Spiritual Disciplines for the Expectant (pinkshoesministries.me)
- Preparation (davidfridenhour.com)
- Admonition For a Christian Life (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)