I find myself navigating through life in a cycle of certain habits.
Late in the evening, the dog and I walk down to the dock behind the city building and I sit in silence. It is a time of prayer. A time of solace. A time just to listen to what God is saying to me.
In the morning, I like to sit in the silence of my own home. I don’t turn on the television or the radio… it is a time of thoughtfulness and anticipation. A time to let God get me ready for what is planned for me that day.
When my heart is heavy or mind riddled with anxiety, I like to go to one of the churches I serve and simply sit in the silence of the sanctuary. Sometimes I kneel at the altar. Sometimes I pace the aisle. Sometimes I sit in a pew and stare at the stained glass windows. Sometimes I read scripture. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I just stare at a wall. But it is a time for me to simply be in God’s presence. A time to feel the calm assurance that God and God alone can bring peace to this world and to my soul.
In so many ways, we have conditioned ourselves to seek God in unexpected places. And we should be doing that. When we see that brave little flower growing through a crack in a parking lot, or the ray of sunshine that reflects just the right way off a sun catcher, or the sweet music the falling rain makes, we should see God.
But God is not just the God of unexpected things.
In a lot of ways, we have drifted away from seeking God in all of the places we should expect to find evidence of the Divine. Our busy lives, our discomfort with prolonged silence, our fear of what others would say, our need to be doing rather sitting, and a million other excuses keep us from eking out the time in our day to make room for God.
We should never be afraid to come to certain places with the expectation of finding God. God will be there.
We should come to church with an eager excitement because we expect to find God there. We should come to our places of prayer, be they on a dock, in an armchair, in a closet, etc… with the excitement that God will be there. We should sit with our scripture, anxious to open those precious Bibles because we know that God will meet us in those pages.
So, don’t just look for God in unexpected places, but create places in your life where you know you can expect to find God every single time. And then go there over and over and over and….