Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Living in

I used to have to pray everytime before I go to sleep. Else I feel guilty.

I used to keep a prayer journal for and of my friends. Til today I find it the most effective way of keeping the welfare of friends in mind and to be concern over the truly important issues that affect their lives.

Nowadays I tend to forget to pray. Or do I?

Often the mind seems void of any 'religious' or good thought. When I'm tired, disgruntled, annoyed. There are many times I just want certain people to disappear. Given the amount of times I roll my eyes, I'm surprised my eyeballs haven't turned inside out in their sockets.

I went to the night safari in Singapore over the weekend and watched a show at the amphitheatre. When the host said an animal was 'missing' in the crowd, experience and survival instinct told me that they were going to bring out a snake. And they did. A big one. Part of me wanted to run but my body froze and my hands were clammed shut on people to the left and right of me. I wanted to avert my eyes but all I could think of was if I took my eyes away, I would lose control and I wouldn't be able to see where it went. I wanted to cry but there wouldn't have been anyone to comfort me. Somehow managing to bear in mind that I was in the presence of people whose sensitivities I shouldn't offend, only a few expletives escaped.

At times like that, no one appears closer than God and all I can do is silently scream His name because He is the only one I trust. I say appears, because God is close all the time, everytime, whether or not He appears to be. Sometimes I shut Him out and say, "Look God, I'm too busy to think about being good today," and then I keep running because I feel guilty that I have been bad and know that I have hurt Him so I keep hurting Him to block feelings of guilt, anger, regret and the pain of separation and a broken relationship. But, at some point, I'll run back. And I know He'll be there.

I don't need to wait for Sundays or Bible Study to be in His presence. I don't need to wait until my heart is calm and rested to seek His peace. I am in His presence all the time and that's why it's hard to just ignore Him and do my own thing. So what is this presence? It's not just a feel good feeling and it's not just an emotional high. But it also isn't just cold theory and word and intellect. Just as faith is shown through works, the truth we believe in is shown in our outward behaviour, attitude and lifestyle.

So when the mind seems blank and void of God or His love or everything I'm living for, perhaps it's because His name is so intertwined in my life that when I think I'm not 'seeing' Him, it's actually because He's much closer than I give Him credit for.