Summary: Spiritual Mindfulness is described.
Practicing the Presence of God: Spiritual Mindfulness
by Daniel Keeran, MSW, College of Mental Health Counselling
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Spiritual Mindfulness definition: Focusing one’s conscious awareness upon the attributes and thoughts of God as fully present in the current moment.
“Where is God? I don’t see any God. Show me God, and I will believe.”
How many times have you heard this? And maybe you are hearing it more as time goes by. We all have friends or family members who doubt that God exists, and sometimes you may have doubts about God’s presence or sometimes you may feel very distant from God or may simply not be aware of his presence.
Peter says our confidence is not about seeing Him but about loving and believing in Him.
1 Peter 1:7-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
The difference between a secular mindset and a sacred mindset is that in the secular life, one engages in daily life disconnected and without awareness of God. In the sacred life, one engages in daily life with a strong awareness of God. In the sacred life, the child of God sees everything and every moment in the context of the spiritual and says, “The God of the universe who holds everything together is fully and personally present right here, right now.”
When you read sacred scripture, you are struck in every verse by the writers’ constant awareness of God. This is in stark contrast with the secular life in which one merely seeks the good life in harmony with one’s neighbour but without any awareness of God. When a child is very young she is aware of God, then from pre-school to university, the secular worldview is taught, and the secular media and the secular workplace prohibit God, or place faith in a negative light. So the faith community is an oasis where we fill up on God. Then we leave the community, the secular chains go back on, and God is left behind. Is that what happens?
To live spiritually and to break off the secular chains, believe God is always present, always caring, always guiding and directing and nurturing, always eager to hear from you, always forgiving, always loving, always reaching out to you, always watching and waiting for you to turn to him, and when you do turn to God, he sings and rejoices over you. Do you believe it?
If you believe it, you can know it, then you can see God at work everywhere and hear God’s constant reassurance and encouragement.
Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
God is present and near to you right here, right now. What emotions do you feel? If you believe it you can see and feel God with your heart right now.
God loves you and He is so proud of you.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Listen to God singing and rejoicing over you. What do you feel? Maybe you feel so loved, so accepted, so cared for by the Creator of the universe that you think for a moment it could last forever, and that is exactly what God wants for you.
Psalm 147:11 “The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
Believe the Lord is proud of you. What do you feel? Yes, God is proud of you. Maybe you feel peaceful and happy, a sense of deep contentment. This picture of delight the Father feels about you is described in the story of the prodigal son.
Luke 15:20-23 “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.”