Ok. That's a slight exaggeration.
Today was actually pretty good fun, and not wholly because of the geeky stuff.
I just really love being at Bible College… 😉 My course mates are super-inspiring, my lecturers are super-wise and the library is super-full-of-books-I-want-to-read. And I just love having the space here to think through the beauty of God. Because whether we're talking about prayer or whether we're debating leadership (today's topics), you can't help but ultimately get drawn back to the beauty of God.
And actually, my mind right now isn't really yet processing any of the academics… I'm still thinking through the morning devotional. Which simply took us through the words of Psalm 121. And then asked us to contemplate the things that the Lord did for the Psalmist.
Because that's a stunning meditation.
All the Psalmist does is lift his eyes to the hills, and then God so graciously is thanked for doing all the rescuing. The abundant and beautiful grace gifts of our Father.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let you foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber… (Psalm 121 v 1-3)
I got stuck at that verse actually. Verse 3 stopped me in my tracks this morning, before I even read the rest of the Psalm.
He who watches over me does not sleep. He doesn't stop. He doesn't relent in His watching. He doesn't give up in His care and kindness and compassion over me. His protection is unceasing.
It's a wonderful thought.
For the rest of the morning we were in the teaching of Brother Lawrence.
The Practice of the Presence of God.
Actually one of my favourite all-time books to be honest. I first read this at 15 and it really revolutionised my approach to prayer and made me far more able to articulate my desire to be in perpetual and permanent conversation with Holy Spirit. Yes, I know there's lots more to it, but still, this book has a fond place in my heart and I have a real affinitey with it. Probably in the same way I do with Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle. (Yup, I also still think we have a lot to learn from a bit of Catholic Mysticism… ;)) Because Brother Lawrence was a cook. In the busy, stressful kitchen life of someone who wasn't a professional preacher or missionary, and who lived in real humility. He learned that all things are acts of worship to God. And He learnt how to hear God in the midst of life. And… He just really got something of how much God delighted in Him.
So, because I still have some preparation to do for tomorrow, let me leave you with a couple of Brother Lawrence quotes to think about if you haven't *shock horror* ever read the book… (That's a joke…)
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.
We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him. We should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being His. We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will, whether He takes us through sufferings or consolations.
Let us think often than our only business in this life is to please God. Perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity.
I regard myself as the most wretched of all men, stinking and covered with sores, and as one who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Overcome by remorse, I confess all my wickedness to Him, ask His pardon and abandon myself entirely to Him to do with as He will. But this King, filled with goodness and mercy, far from chastising me, lovingly embraces me, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the keys of His treasures and treats me as His favourite. He talks with me and is delighted with me in a thousand and one ways; He forgives me and relieves me of my principle bad habits without talking about them; I beg Him to make me according to His heart and always the more weak and despicable I see myself to be, the more beloved I am of God.