Living Fully Awake and Aware

July 6, 2011 | 18 comments

Years ago, I used to think God was found under the steeple, at the communion rail, and in the liturgy.

And yes, of course, He is very much present in the church.

But oh, let me never again forget that He is also very much present in me – common, ordinary me. Our ever-present God is not demanding to be discovered at the altar on Sunday mornings. He can be found inside the miracle of me … and inside the miracle of you. Can you sense Him?

“Open you eyes right now and look. The one who is perfect love is alive in your room …”
– Gregory Boyd, author of Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now

 Last summer, I read Boyd’s book and double-underlined the chapter seven title: “The Father Is Always Working.”

Because He really is.

Indeed, ours is a God who does not slumber. He is awake to our every need, and He calls out to us: “Are you awake, too?”

When I awoke to this midsummer Iowa morning, those words rolled through my blurry subconscious: Are you awake? (Those three words were a repeated refrain in Boyd’s book.)

The question has been an alarm-clock for my soul. 

Far too often, I have awakened to the groaning reminders of my to-do lists. As an active volunteer in my church, many of those responsibilities are directly related to the advancement of the Kingdom. Yet, it amazes me how quickly I can lose an awareness of God’s presence even while doing church-y things. I can be designing a Power Point presentation for worship, for instance, and completely forget about the Object of my worship because I’ve gotten myself all wrapped up in the font-size!

We can easily become consumed with the future and all of our “to-dos,” meanwhile missing the miracle of God’s presence now at work in the now-moments.

He’s engaged in the present moments of my ordinary life – playing Barbies with my daughters or washing the breakfast dishes – as much He’s present at a Women of Faith conference. God is at work during tuck-ins and bedtime prayers, as powerfully as He’s at work during a tent revival.

And He’s calling me to wake up to His presence, to “bring his Kingdom into this moment.”

The challenge for me:  remaining ever-aware of God’s presence. Thankfully, as a mama of two, I have two God-attuned daughters to keep me mindful. Kids just “get” what it means to be fully awake.

One night last year, as we wrapped up bedtime prayers, I told our youngest: “Remember, Anna, you can pray to God any time, not just at supper or in bed. You can come to God wherever you are.”

She stopped me short: “Don’t say ‘we come to God.’”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Don’t say we come to God, because He’s always at us.”

Indeed, He is always at us. We don’t have to run to the altar or into the comfort of our religious rituals to find the Father working.

God is now. God is here. God is “at us.”

And I’ve got my eyes open. I’ve got to stay awake. For I don’t want to miss any miracles.

An edited reprint from the archives. Being reminded again today of what it means to “be awake.”Photo: Anna’s bedside table

by | July 6, 2011 | 18 comments

18 Comments

  1. Megan Willome

    God’s “at us.” Yes! Only a child, right?

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Megan, Precisely! I think my kids teach me more than I teach them. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    I don’t want to miss any miracles either.

    Beautiful post (as always).
    ~ Wendy

    Reply
  3. Lindy

    smart girl! I’ve been convicted by Charles Hummel and his thoughts on the “urgent” and the “important”. Being awake and knowing God is “at us” is the important part! I can’t let the urgent take over.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh … oh … I hear you, Lindy. Jesus is a great example for us (as always) … We never find him running around in Scripture. He’s always walking. He’s never in a hurry.

      Reply
  4. Nancy

    And He is ever-so-present in your words, dear friend! “Are you awake?” I like that. I’ll carry that question with me into the day.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Nancy … Thank you. The book by Boyd repeatedly asks that question, which I found incredibly simple but profoundly helpful. I am also grateful that God NEVER, EVER sleeps! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Lori

    So many times in the Bible we read about how God approached people in those little everyday moments….while they were sleeping, working in the field, out watching sheep. Those are my favorite times….Great post Jennifer!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Good point, Lori. He finds us in our everyday work, even in the valley. We can find the Lord on the mountaintop, but we need Him most in the valley.

      Reply
  6. Tay

    I love that! “God us always at us!” I am going to remember that today as I go about my day. I need to know that God is with me today.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Tay. May you feel His presence in a very real way today.

      Reply
  7. Simply Darlene

    I am sure glad He is in all the ordinary places with all the ordinary people cause there just ain’t nothing fancy going on around here.

    Blessings.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Darlene … You make me smile. By the way, you are anything BUT ordinary. 🙂 … That’s why I love you so much. xoxo

      Reply
  8. Amy Sullivan

    Yes, even common, little, ordinary me…He is still in me, always.

    Always a fan of your words, Jennifer.

    Reply
  9. Connie@raise your eyes

    So thankful He is “always at us” because I do get too caught up in the font size…

    Reply
  10. Holly

    I really needed to read this today. Anna’s words…your words…and the words of those who have replied. Sometimes I forget that He is “at us”…sometimes I forget that He loves the valley like He loves the mountaintops…and sometimes I forget that He’s never in a hurry.

    Cause all I want sometimes is to find and meet Him on the mountaintops quickly. 🙂

    Reply
  11. sharilyn

    {sigh}
    of ‘getting it’…
    of ‘contentment’…
    of ‘have missed being here’…

    as always, jennifer, your words and thoughts cause me to ponder, to pause, and to be reminded of the simple –yet oh, so profound– things of our God…

    Reply

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