Centering Prayer & Meditation
December 2, 2010
Are you awake?
This meditation is excerpted from the book “Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now,” by Gregory A. Boyd.
Boyd begins this chapter by discussing how we’ve been programmed to view the world as though God were not present moment-by-moment. We are caught up in the human experience and not aware that God is here, with us, every second. He refers to this as the “flesh-mindset.”
Romans 8:6-7 “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” And Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
How does this flesh mindset happen? Through our lives we have experiences, see things, hear things, that we use to develop our worldview. Our minds are “programmed,” so to speak, with beliefs that run in the background of our lives.
So then we accept Christ, or even become aware of God, we learn all about Him and that he is omnipresent, but that knowledge doesn’t actually CHANGE the way we view the world moment-by-moment. Sure, we are aware of God’s presence, but we seem to dance in and out of awareness. Boyd says “we are living as semi-conscious slaves to our past programmers, and God’s presence will be habitually censored out of our awareness.” He says this is what James meant in chapter 1 verse 8 when he said we are “double-minded.” In verse 6 he compares us to a wave in the ocean, tossed and blown by the wind. Boyd recaps this by saying “We live in contradiction between what we believe is true and what we experience as real.”
So, we need to become single-minded. There you go. Easy! (maybe not so much)
The main way to do this is invite God to be your companion in everything you do. Try to remain conscious of the fact that, no matter what you doing…washing dishes…reading the paper…working at your desk…doing things, that there is another thing going on at the same time all the time. God is there. Next to you. Within you. Share with Him what you doing. Keep up a running dialogue with Him. Turn everything you do into an act of service and worship.
As we begin to wake up to God’s presence we’ll start to notice how much garbage there is in our brains. We’ll start to notice how caught up we have been with the past and the future, and how focused we’ve been on ourselves. The key is to just take note of it, and redirect. Don’t get caught up in self-judgment. Just take notice and redirect. Eventually you’ll start to notice less and less garbage and more and more God.