I was thinking about my college self or maybe just my pre-kids self. I used to spend hours reading about God and journaling. Under our bed are two large containers full of my old journals. There are probably at least thirty.
Now, in this phase of life, my alone time is not plentiful. And while I still check out library books as if I had the time to read them all, (currently they are stacked ten high beside the couch), I don’t have the empty hours to spend pouring over words like I used to.
Lately, I have been thinking about how walking alongside life with God doesn’t necessitate hours of “quiet time” a day. There are a few things that I have been pondering before God in this.
First is the story of one of the desert Fathers, Abba Moses. One of the younger monks came to him seeking wisdom on how to live and grow as a monk. And Abba Moses’ response was: “Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.”
I was thinking about my “cell” as my time and context of life. Currently, I stay home with two small kids. Can God possibly teach me more about himself in this phase? Absolutely. He can definitely teach me more about loving Him better and loving others in my here and now.
One of my favorite biblical characters is Enoch. For one thing I love the mystery. We really know very little about him.What is remembered is that he “walked with God.”
I love what Richard Rohr has to say to this: “My starting point is that we’re already there. We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As we take another it means that God is choosing us now and now and now. We have nothing to attain or even learn. We do, however need to unlearn some things…” (Richard Rohr).
Thomas Keating says it differently. “The divine presence has always been with us, but we think it is absent. That thought is the monumental illusion of the human condition. The spiritual journey is designed to heal it.”
In the midst of daily life my pool time, caring for children, cleaning, etc. God is already there and I can turn my mind to him and walk with Him at any moment. In any circumstance.
All that to say, I look forward to learning more of God throughout the years. I will enjoy it when a different season of life allots for more time in quiet. But for now I know that always no matter the season: in Him I move and breath and have my being.