I’m a Backslider!
I suspect I’m more carnal than most, but I’m stunned at how easy it is for me to “backslide.” I’m not talking about falling into some heinous sin. I just find I gravitate strongly toward an atheistic consciousness. I’ll go for a couple of days easily remaining aware of God’s presence, moment-by-moment, but then I’ll go through a long period of slumber during which my God-awareness is spotty at best. This is how its been with me, more or less, for more than 20 years!
Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach and Jean de Caussade each speak of experiencing a transformation after which “practicing the presence of God” was as natural to them as breathing. I thought I was getting close to this sort of breakthrough last year when I was writing a book on this discipline (called Present Perfect) but I now suspect this was simply because my mind tends to be totally occupied with whatever I happen to be writing about at the time. This year I’m back to being pretty much the same old atheistic-minded Greg.
One thing I know for sure, however. The question of how successful or unsuccessful I’ve been at staying awake to God’s presence over the last year, or over the last five minutes, is completely worthless. So is the question of when, if ever, I’ll undergo a God-consciousness transformation. God is always in the now, so the only relevant question is: Am I awake to God’s presence now, in this moment?
And now, in this one?
In him we live and move and have our being, Paul says. The challenge is remembering this, moment-by-moment.