Tip of the Week

Pay Attention to Ordinary Moments of Life that in Some Way Point You to God

 
What points you to God?  Prayer and Scripture for sure.  In prayer we confess our complete dependence on God.  In Scripture, God instructs, teaches, and reminds us of the story that gives us shape and identity.

 
What about the ordinary moments of life?

 

  • Maybe I walk through the grocery store and am reminded of the God who provides water, sunlight, and the soil so that this food could grow.
  • Perhaps I see a child and am reminded that the Father knows this child intimately.  He even knows the number of hairs on her head.
  • Maybe I get a call from a family member and am reminded of how blessed I am to have this person in my life.
  • Suppose it begins to rain and I am reminded of the God who sustains the earth.
  • Perhaps someone smiles at me today and I am reminded that each precious moment is a gift.

You probably have better examples.  I am simply suggesting that we consider beginning our day with the intention of allowing these ordinary moments to point us toward God.  Much of this comes down to what is on our hearts as we go through our day.

 
Many years ago, Gregory of Nyssa said in his commentary on The Lord’s Prayer:

Let us remember that the life which we ought to be interested is "daily" life.  We can, each of us, only call the present time our own….  Our Lord tells us to pray for today, and so he prevents us from tormenting ourselves about tomorrow.  It is as if (God) were to say to us: "(It is I) who gives you this day (and) will also give you what you need for this day.  (It is I) who makes the sun to rise.  (It is I) who scatters the darkness of night and reveals to you the rays of the sun."

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10 thoughts on “Tip of the Week

  1. Jim, I live in a small village and so have a small group of friends, and one of them from a few doors down is my girlfriends brother who has a 1 year old, many time when I play with her and spend time in with them and her, God speaks to me about life, love and relationship, it doesnt seem like a spiritual discipline to play with a baby, but precious moments certainly remind us of who God is.
    The mention of the biblical story giving us our identity is something that is great to me also, as at the moment Im working an enjoyable but officey job while in preparation for full time ministry and Im reminded that it is part of my adventure, but also the wider adventure of the church, in the same way that the bible is the beginning of that narrative.
    Sorry this comment is too long, but thanks for your thoughts today.

  2. I love Liam’s response above! God hardly ever speaks louder than through a baby in one’s arms. Thanks, Jim, for the reminder to look for God in the everyday, ordinary moments. I would guess we miss a LOT of God when we don’t.

  3. One of the best things a mentor once taught me was to be intentional about finding God in my week, an I Spy approach to where He is at work in my life, in the lives of those around me, and also to be grateful for those sightings. It gave a completely different outlook to my time to start watching for those moments.

  4. Liam,A wonderful comment!In particular, I like what you said regarding the baby.  How true.  It is amazing how such moments can point us to God.I also like what you wrote regarding your life as you prepare for full-time ministry.  I do think it is amazing how God prepares us in the ordinary moments of life. 

  5. Gregg,I suspect you are right.  I do think we miss much of what God is doing in our world–especially if our hearts are elsewhere.

  6. Gloria,Seems to me that your mentor’s approach is an invitation to keep our eyes open.  In contrast, it is so easy to go through life and miss seeing answers to prayer and other clear evidence that God has been at work. 

  7. Jim: Our family hosted two eight year old girls from last week, both of whom lost their fathers when the were younger; and I felt blessed to be alive to this point to see my children growing up.