I’m not sure that I work hard enough at it, but I do know that I make continual and varied efforts to keep You present throughout a day. One method is my own modified version of the “Jesus Prayer” which the “beep” from my wristwatch reminds me to say every hour. But, as with so many other daily mechanical habits, it often becomes thoughtless and does not always evoke Your presence. I especially have been making a concerted effort to see You in the people and events of each day, and also in nature. I am learning that with a little effort I can find You regularly in the combinations of certain people in certain circumstances.
For me the most important facilitator of this ability is not the knowledge that You are already present in those people or events, but rather that I, with a mind set to finding You in them, am often able to do so. It’s the same with things in nature. You have always been in the cottony drifting clouds of a blue sky, in the special radiances of a sunrise or sunset, in the color and sway of a breeze-blown field of wildflowers, in the roar of Niagara Falls; but the eye and the heart must be set on seeing You there just as in seeing You in an old man counting his beads in church or in the newly discovered world in a baby’s eyes. If I cannot find You in my own heart, it’s hard to find You anyplace else.
What I wish I was more proficient at is sustaining the moments I am deeply aware of Your presence. For me, they are characteristically brief flashes now and then. I can evoke Your presence with my will but certain circumstances render it easier than others, and the times I fail are the times when more effort is involved. I know that the habitual sustaining of Your presence in my consciousness over time would take the effort and focus for which the distractions of daily life are seemingly immense speed bumps. The real trick (and it’s not easy) is to find You as well in these distractions; to regard Your presence actually in the people and events that appear to pull me away from it.
The biblical commentator, William Barclay, on an early chapter of II Peter says that when Peter talks about brotherly affection as being part of the courage with which we equip our faith, what he means is that there is something wrong with a spirituality that finds the distracting claims of personal relationships a nuisance. Rather, it would be eminently more fruitful to look for Your presence in such occasions.