Saturday, December 18
They were just doing their jobs, clad in rough clothing as protection from foul weather, alert to dangers ready to attack their flock. Nothing special about this night. Just ordinary life.
And then God broke in.
Where and when do you most experience the presence of God? In church when the choir sings “O Holy Night” or when the worship band leads in “Majesty, worship his majesty”? Or when you sit with open Bible in candlelight in a special corner of your home? Or when you walk through silent woods?
All special places where God loves to break in, but what about when you’re standing in line at the bank? Or folding that ever-present laundry? Or even at the cancer center with chemotherapy slowly dripping into your veins?
Trish Warren writes in Liturgy of the Ordinary how God can break in the “ordinariness” of life if we are intentionally attentive to his whispers.
Recently I had a day filled with interruption, delays, disappointments, frustrations plus the “ordinary” work of cooking, cleaning, etc. By evening I was physically exhausted, mentally dull, and spiritually…? You can easily guess my spiritual state! It wasn’t until twenty-four hours later as I sat quietly with the the Lord–and yes, I had started that previous day in similar fashion–that I recalled not one moment during that terrible, awful, no good day when I’d intentionally turned my attention to my Father.
The shepherds were startled out of their ordinary night duty by blazing angelic glory. What will it take for me to turn my attention not from the ordinary, but in the ordinary moments of the day? Brother Lawrence called it “practicing the presence of God” whether in the kitchen, in conversations, or on his knees. I suspect I need more practice.