...he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
– Acts 17:27&28
One of the biggest first crisis' of faith I experienced was at the same age that nearly everyone has theirs. I was moving to Pasadena with friends and tired of limiting God's presence, meaning, or significance to church buildings. Either God was real and can be found everywhere or God is an idea and can only be found in certain buildings or people groups. I didn't see this type of faith being lived out or even really talked about in churches (although my Dad and I talked about it regularly over Sunday morning breakfasts, thank God) and it was the only thing that I was interested in.
Reading Brother Lawrence's small book The Practice of the Presence of God when I was only 16 was what instigated this for me. It changed the whole direction of my life. Life is so doggedly inconsistent that if there is actually one thing which is consistent (God's presence), it must be worth all of my attention!
After 15 years of slowly growing and maturing in this perspective, I've learned that everything is a spiritual practice. Everything.
If Christ truly "is all and is in all," it leaves room for nothing else. Sitting, standing, talking, listening, walking, reading, writing, running, lying down, bathing, eating, observing, and resting are all moments when each of us are in the Presence of God. But what is our practice of It?
There are many areas of my life where my practice is distraction; to ignore Christ and Love and be centered around myself (self-centered) . It's what I do regularly and know best. There are other areas where I'm becoming more sensitive to Love and Life in all and through all. I've made it a practice to grow the number of these areas.
When we emphasize God's presence in one place or person or point in history, we simultaneously diminish his presences elsewhere. That, then, becomes our practice: worshiping one place or person or point in history. Everything is a spiritual practice: to participate or to ignore.
Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
– Colossians 3:11
There is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
– 1 Corinthians 8:6
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
– Ephesians 4:4-6