Our church has been focusing on ways of connecting with God and one another during Lent. And instead of giving up something for Lent over the past few years, I’ve also tried to make a concerted effort to pay attention to God’s work in my life and the lives of others.
But it’s not that easy.
This past weekend, instead of a sermon, our student pastor led us in an Ignatian Examen prayer practice where we reflected on the day prior, examining our emotions, our failures, our desires, and God’s calling on our lives. It was such a simple gift–those fifteen music-filled moments during which I shut my eyes and reflected on all that God is doing.
But I’m often missing it.
Like so many of us, I’m a do-er, a thinker, and in my eagerness to use my time wisely, I forget that listening to God is time that is never wasted. I’ve been doing a spiritual discipline during Lent where instead of jumping into tasks when I arrive in the office, I put on music and write for just one minute, reflecting on my fears, worries, and where God is in the midst of my life.
And God is there.
Beneath all of those very present needs and fears, God is always there–working and patiently waiting for me to quiet myself and connect. In my own Ignatian Examen last weekend, I realized I’m missing valuable moments of connection with others and with God in my life. In this week, I haven’t made great strides, but I’m thankful to God for making me aware of this connection that exists even when I fight or ignore it.
What’s so powerful about the Ignatian Examen is that while our moments of reflection are but fleeting, God’s call and action on and in our lives is omnipresent. I realize how, not just during Lent, but everyday, I need to commit to turning off my mind and using my heart to listen to what God is doing.
What about you? How do you connect with God? How do you listen and find meaning in the everyday?