Spiritual Practices for Busy People
What a challenge it can be to keep our priorities straight in this busy world! Who of us doesn’t struggle against the relentless tyranny of the urgent! Mix in the media, consumerism, and the culture, and it’s hard to keep the main thing as the main thing.
A busy, hard-pressed King David has inspired many to put the greatest priority right up there at the top. David knew life’s pressures as a military leader, statesman, poet, musician, and true “Renaissance Man”. Far from perfect, he sinned greatly and was greatly forgiven, but God wrote him down as a success in His Book. The Bible even calls David “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). Better than most he made the greatest priority the number one priority for his life.
David sings in Psalm 27:4 about how he had made the greatest priority the one thing in his life:
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
This “one thing” David gave himself to was to live daily in God’s presence, beholding His beauty. Whether in the palace, wilderness, or battleground, David was determined to live in constant God-awareness. And David found that living in God’s constant presence was to also experience God’s constant love and protection:
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. (Psalm 27:5)
There was a time in my life that I asked God to help me make the greatest priority the number one priority for my life. After having made other things my priority, I longed to make knowing God be number one. God then brought to my path others who also longed to live each day with God. They taught me much about the delight of the greatest priority.
Beginning today and continuing over the next several weeks, I want to pass on to you some spiritual practices that have helped many busy people live each day in God’s beauty and presence. I pass them on to you believing they will also open up for you new and unimagined dimensions of living. By making the greatest priority your top priority, you will find everything else falling into place.
Practice One: The Daily God Hunt
“In God we live and move and have our being.”
While God is always and everywhere present to us, we are not always present to Him. This first spiritual practice can help us awaken to the God who is always with us, the God in Whom we live and move and have our very being.
This practice is one way in which many, like David, have sought to live daily in God’s presence beholding His beauty. There are various forms of this ancient practice of beholding God, but I have chosen a form called the “Daily God Hunt”. I came across this spiritual practice in David and Karen Mains’ book, Daring to Dream Again. Some people hunt for deer, some hunt for gold and other treasure; the Daily God Hunt is a daily hunting for God.
We start the Daily God Hunt in the morning with a simple prayer telling God that we are going to be watching for Him throughout the day. Then, with eyes wide open to God’s presence, we look for Him in any one or more of the following ways:
- An obvious answer to prayer
- God showing Himself in His creation (beautiful sunrise, colorful flowers, exquisite design of a leaf, etc.)
- God being present to you in another person
- God helping you to do His work in the world
- Any evidence of God’s love and care for you
- Add your God moments here…
At day’s end, take a few moments to reflect back on your day and note any God Sightings you had. Thank God for those God Sightings and His presence with you throughout the day. You can double your delight by sharing your God Sightings with another person; your God Sightings can be an encouragement to them as well as to you. The more we seek to be present to God throughout the day, the more we become aware of Him and experience His presence.
Like David we can experience the encouragement and comfort of God’s presence and beauty:
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
(Psalm 139:7-10, David)
Grace and peace,
photo by Daniel Morris