[tough times and God’s grace]
I have been reading The Practice of the Presence of God for the last couple of days. Haven’t gotten too far because I am as always juggling books and I only have Brother Lawrence’s book on my iPod, but it has been quite a reading.
If you ever read a book (besides the Bible) that seemed to talk directly to you and apply directly to where you are in life right now, then you would understand my feelings. I am reading, and almost every paragraph is like a light pat on the back which seems to say “I know what you are going through right now. I have been there. It gets better – really.”
These past two weeks were weird. Too much work and hardly enough sleep messed with my mind and left me dry. The hungry monster called guilt followed right away, taunting my already frayed nerves. “You hardly do anything for God these days. Your work has taken first place. You are a loser.” Pounce pounce pounce, wince.
Thankfully, God did not let it take over. And I am so thankful for my friends who listened and shared wisdom that came from experiencing similar situations. One of my dear friends asked whether I have read Brother Lawrence’s thoughts. “Nope,” I said and thought “but I shall find it.”
That night, from Gutenberg Project, I got myself a copy of The Practice of the Presence of God. I opened the file to read just the beginning… and ended up reading quite a bit because like I said, the words spoke.
Our sanctification does not depend upon changing our works. Instead, it depended on doing that for God’s sake which we commonly do for our own. It is lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works which they performed very imperfectly by reason of their human or selfish regards.
As I read these words, I realized that my work, if done for God’s sake, can also be a good thing. I do not have to be a pastor or a worship leader or someone to praise God with what I do. Everyday matters matter when your heart is in it and when you’re doing it for the right reasons.
And as I reflected, even taking into account that I missed a prayer meeting at Church because of my work or because I had to work late in order to help my friends do what needed to be done… if I had another chance to live through the same hours, I would not change a thing. For me, it was less logical to tell my friends at work “Work here, while I go and pray.” And it’s not just because I only care what my colleagues will say about me. It was because I can pray while I am doing something. I strive to do my job because I want the team to succeed, not just myself.
I am not saying that I am 100% correct on this. Maybe my way is a wrong one.
However, I want to try to enjoy God’s amazing Presence all the time. Whatever I am doing; wherever I am. I am sure it is not going to be easy. In fact, I am sure it is going to be tough, at least at first. Yet, the reward is well worth it.
Anyone with me?
We should not wonder if, in the beginning, we often failed in our endeavors, but that at last we should gain a habit which will naturally produce its acts in us without our care and to our exceeding great delight.