In His Presence

While jogging early in the morning yesterday, I was reflecting on how I was getting bogged down in the details of my work and on the need to come out of it, take a break from it, rest and come back with renewed perspective and energy. For a few days now, I have felt disconnected a little from the ‘why’ of my assignment as I immersed myself in tasks that need to be done. For me, that disconnection is suffocating as I am wired to keep the big picture in mind in everything I do. It supplies the energy, strength and motivation to get the job done, no matter how difficult.

Later in the day, I was having an enriching conversation with Roger Prud’homme, an 82-year old client of Zenith Cleaners, who is very energetic and is one of the youngest at heart people I know, ever learning, excited about life, very cheerful, with lots of projects on-going and in the pipeline and who just loves people. He explained how as an assistant Social Services Minister in Quebec, he used to take short breaks from his work during the day to immerse himself in something totally different, and came back with renewed energy.

Early this morning, I was putting my thoughts together with my conversation with Monsieur Prud’homme and I realized that God’s presence provides the ultimate rest and connectedness to the big picture of my life, my assignment and my tasks. I realize how being in the presence of God actually energizes me, renews my strength and provides understanding that cannot be obtained by total immersion in my tasks. It came to me that I need to practice God’s presence more, as a source of strength, energy and rest and not merely as a religious observance.

Coming out of our demanding responsibilities and immersing ourselves into other things, especially playful activities, can be refreshing. But there is none more ‘Other’ nor more refreshing than the Author and Giver of life, in whom we live, move and have our being, in whose presence there is fulness of joy, according to the scriptures. Joy strengthens us, heals us and fosters creativity.

In the pursuit of challenging assignments and in the business of life itself, I need my strength renewed daily. And as stated in the book of Isaiah, I am realizing that there is no better way for me to obtain renewed strength than waiting upon the Lord. The challenges of the day require me to mount up with wings as eagles so that I can run and not be weary, walk and not faint in the pursuit of my life’s assignment. I am able to do so easily, as I spend personal, quality time in God’s presence, as I cultivate my sacred place.

Since God is omnipresent, this place, whereever this place happens to be, is potential holy ground. What makes it holy is a human being attuned to God. This is good news because I do not have to leave where I am now, to enter into the presence of God. I can be there in a second. Therefore my rest, my renewal, my understanding of the big picture, my joy, my healing is here now. My sacred place is here now. The Lord is my shepherd, so I do not have to lack these things. God, a very present help in trouble, invites us to come boldly to his presence that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us whenever we need any form of grace.

To be in the world and be effective, I must immerse myself in my assignment. Immersing myself in my assignment drains my energy but immersing myself in God’s presence restores my soul, my strength, my energy, my self. My assignment is where I use my energy and strength but God’s presence is where I gain and regain my energy, my strength, my joy, my life. Really, God’s presence can become an addiction.

“As the hart (deer) pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.” This is from the Psalms, but it is the cry of my heart and many weary hearts.

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