Try to imagine our sensory experience after we’ve been “raised in glory” . While the images might be exciting, they are probably small and bland compared to what is actually waiting for us. If the glory of the Eternal Day exposure to Jesus was shown to us now, the overload would blow our human circuitry. And yet, the Lord does want us to see him in this day, not just wait for that one. So he gives us “eyes of the heart”,* a Spirit-managed ability to see what he is like. We don’t get the full picture of that glory all at once, but he keeps adding light for more depth and detail of his beauty…..as long as we keep wanting to see him. All of life – not just the ‘religious’ times and activities – is an arena for seeing and admiring something about the Lord. The likelihood of that happening in the day’s busyness grows when we train the eyes of the heart to do it in our fixed prayer times.
Our inner eyes are God’s gift for taking in the view of him. And the clearest way to do that is to notice what he says about himself. Not just reading Scripture, but SEEING the truth carried in the words. I unpack this more in the book Shaped for Prayer Enjoyment, Chapter Two – A View to Fascinate the Pray-er, and Chapter Nine – Expanding Prayer Language.
Last week, a group of us were praying for someone seriously ill. Verses about the Lord’s power to heal flowed, and that was good. But when we slowed down to see the truth about him carried in the words we were quoting, the praying shifted. We moved from knowing that he heals to seeing his beauty as Healer. The seeing fed admiration of him, and admiration strengthened passion for him to show his glory as Healer. We went away having asked, but more than that, having taken in a fresh seeing of the Lord. When we work it into our fixed prayer times, the seeing of him (and our response) is more likely to keep surfacing throughout our day.
None of us (as far as I know) lives in monastic seclusion where, every couple of hours, a bell calls us to assemble and re-center on the Lord. I mentioned in the previous post how, on life’s busy highway, it’s easy to ‘forget’ the truth of God’s presence in a side-street. Our challenge is to not divorce life from awareness of Presence, but to make seeing and responding to him the frame for living. It’s helpful to have ‘bells’ through the day that call us to a quick review of how we’re doing and to refocus us. Some choose to set regular alerts on their mobile phones. It might not be possible to drop everything when the alarm sounds and take time out, but the alert does break into the highway’s distracting noise and invites the heart to see the Lord in the busyness. However, I prefer making association points, where certain activities become the bell(s) in the day. An association point can be a particular mealtime, mid-morning coffee, bathroom break, boarding a train, starting a vehicle, changing a diaper, relaxing in a particular chair, etc. The plan is to associate one or more of our regular activities or places with an awareness of the Lord’s presence and a response (the view of him is often a replay of what was seen in a fixed prayer time). Initially the association must be planned and managed, but soon the discipline becomes a habit, a way of life in which the association points become triggers for centering on the Lord. Try it, and let me know if it helps you make the most of the view, seeing the Lord not only in the fixed prayer times but also through the busy day.