Read (Exodus 3:1-4)
Moses offers a few principles to guide our own noticing of God. First, he recognized the unusual nature of this bush. It was burning, but it was not consumed. I don’t think he glances just once or twice and say to himself, “Oh, that bush is burning.” He would have had to observe it over time to realize it was still aflame but had not consumed any branches.
Second, this experience happened at work. Moses wasn’t engaged in worship, Bible study, or something spiritual. He was out in the fields doing his regular daily labour. This reminds us that, unlike our human tendency to designate specific times as spiritual and others as secular, God considers all of our time holy and spiritual. Because God is omnipresent, we are as likely to experience God while doing the laundry or mowing the lawn as when reading Scripture, especially if we are conscious that God always dwells in our midst.
Third, Moses’s experience demonstrates that he didn’t ignore what he saw or assume his eyes were playing tricks on him. Instead, he walked toward the burning bush to see what had caught his attention more clearly. It is not enough to become aware of God’s presence; we must act upon it to benefit from being observant of what God wants us to notice.
Last week I spoke about Mary and Martha. Martha had invited Jesus and His disciples to dinner. Although Martha’s intentions of hospitality were good, she became distracted and focused on her preparations rather than on Jesus. Mary responded differently, as she “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.” Mary’s posture of receptiveness displays the proper attitude of a disciple to the disciple’s teacher. Martha was inattentive to Jesus’s actual needs and desire for His visit, reminding us that our frenetic pace can radically reduce our awareness of Jesus even though He is plainly among us.
See tips titled “Becoming aware of God’s presence.”
I took up this practice many years ago and often had to will myself to seek God’s presence. I’m not suggesting my skill to be in God’s presence is fine-tuned like Brother Lawrence’s (Practicing the Presence of God), but I am certainly more aware of how God is everywhere. Give them a try, not just for one day but over a period of time.