"If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here..."
"My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Before Moses heads down to begin the serious task of bringing the children of Israel into the promised land, he has a heart-to heart with God on Mt Sinai. And no wonder. What he is about to embark upon is not for the faint of heart. Moses asks for God's ways, so that he will find favor in His sight. He asks for the Lord to go with them, and He asks to have a personal experience of God's glory. God graciously answers all these requests.

I find myself these days working hard to be present, to focus on the moment in front of me. And so this morning I ponder again what it means to be present to the presence of the Spirit of God, which is available to me as it was available to Moses and to every person who seeks to know the ways of God, to find favor in God's sight, and to experience the glory of God.

Brother Lawrence, who lived in a French monastery during the 1600s, made it his goal to be aware of and worshipping God throughout the day, whether peeling potatoes or scrubbing pots. His book,  "Practicing the Presence of God" is a collection of letters to inquirers intrigued about his process. But there are other ways of "seeing" God. St Francis saw the presence of God in creation. Mother Teresa in the face of the sick and dying in Calcutta. A new mother sees it in the face of an infant, the artist in the play of harmonics or the glint of light in the autumn afternoon.

We can also recognize the presence of God within ourselves, a heightened awareness in moments when we sense the Spirit getting our attention, notice unusual clarity, participate in inexplicable peace.

Whether outward or inward, through people, animals, nature, language or music, God's presence fills the earth, and wants to fill us. What is left to us is being open, and a commitment to see and be led by a loving, companioning God.



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