The Invitation of Presence
What I've come to realise is staying in the 'now' is really hard! My mind flies back and forth, thinking about what could have been or what could be. The now just doesn't seem to satisfy as much as my wondering. It's almost easier to marinate in yesterday with all its conflicts and alternatives or linger in the fantastical hopeful tomorrow. Whatever it is, it seems much better than now.
In the now there's no escapism, you're confronted with reality and all its responsibilities. And sometimes, just sometimes it can seem a little boring.
The truth is the now is the most exciting part of the day and the only moment that actually exists. The now is being created constantly and you get to participate in that. When you become present you participate and become a co-creator! If that's not the most wonderful thing I don't know what is.
When you become aware and present, you stop living on auto-pilot, your sub-conscious stops running the show and you become fully alive to the God-filled moment, which is now!
So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Thinking that we can find more of God somewhere else or that where we are he doesn't want to be, stops us from recognising that God indwells within us. This recognition leads to contemplation, a disposition of the heart that sees the now as it really is.
'The presence of God is infinite, everywhere, always, and forever. You cannot not be in the presence of God. There’s no other place to be. It is we who are not present to Presence. We’ll make any excuse to be somewhere else than right here. Right here, right now never seems enough. It actually is, but it is we who are not aware enough yet. When you’re present, you will experience the Presence. '
- Fr Richard Rohr, Practicing Presence Meditation
It can be difficult staying in the now when there's so much to look forward to or when the past lures you in. It can seem pointless when the now looks like it has nothing to offer. There can be a difficulty in finding God in the ordinary (no distinctive or special features), the monotony of everyday when we forget that the day to day is always a new day, a prevailing wonder, one that repeats because there are always new discoveries and wonders to be found. .
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
― G.K. Chesterton
When we are present to presence everything looks different, the ancient becomes new, revelations invite us into a deeper intimacy with God. We begin to discover who he is and the image of him we idolised begins to fall apart.
Maybe your now is really joyful, you feel loved and embraced. Breath it in, soak it up, give thanks. Maybe your now is really hard and painful. Move through it, he's closer than he's ever been. Maybe your now is feeling kind of ordinary. There's an invitation waiting for you.
God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘- We are His offspring.’
THERE'S AN INVITATION WAITING FOR YOU, WITH
A REVELATION ON THE OTHER SIDE
Kiersey Clemons for i-D magazine by Francesca Jane Allen
It may not always look like this, but that's just the thing, it doesn't have to look like anything, the moment creates itself. Take a minute or two at some point everyday to become aware of him being with you.