I’ve been watching a set of DVD’s featuring Dallas Willard which is an accompaniment to his book “Hearing God” (great book). Willard (1935-2013) was a theologian, author, spiritual director, and professor at the University of Southern California. His books focus on how we grow in our relationship with God.
This morning this quote struck me:
“The only thing of great value we have in this life is our experiences…we are our experiences…they are spiritual experiences…these experiences are where we meet God and God uses them to shape who we are.”
Willard goes on to talk about how when we are aware of God’s role in our experiences (and He is involved in all of our experiences), we have intimacy with Him. It struck me that being still is the tool God asks us to use to increase our awareness of his role in all of our experiences and to grow in intimacy with Him.
When I am moving at warp speed, even if I am serving God and following His lead, I am not opening myself to the intimacy with Him that shapes my life. It’s only when I slow down to reflect on where I saw Him in my day and am curious enough to ask Him to show me where He was in my experiences – good and bad – that I am molded and prepared for new adventures.
Jesus promised, in John 15, to give us the Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and comfort us. The Holy Spirit hovers around us all the time – like He did in Genesis 1 when He hovered over the waters of creation – but how often do we really allow Him to speak to us, to show us what God is doing in our experiences, and to allow ourselves to celebrate and embrace His power in our lives?
So, get out and experience life! Step out of your comfort zone! Do some new and adventurous (whatever that means for you) things this summer! Meet new people, experience new cultures, play with children, go into places where God wants to use His light in you to shine into darkness! Let God stretch you!
AND take the time to reflect on these experiences. Sit quietly by water. Soak in sunshine (when we have it). Do nothing. Journal. Talk to God and LISTEN. Reflect on your day and celebrate that God was all around you. Experience life and life abundant and be changed!!!!!
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17:28