Fully Present to Jesus
Choosing Stillness, Part 2

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. I'd just headed out on a fresh path of commitment in my daily times with God and, on the very first day, I struggled to concentrate. With some effort I managed to still my soul, and that ushered in an utterly valuable week.

At the heart of the matter was making a choice to be fully present to Jesus. Here’s a glance at what made the difference for me...and some thoughts that may encourage you in your spiritual life.

Value Jesus’ presence
As I tried to gather my distracted self to be fully present with Jesus, I thought about how easy this would be if he was sitting physically next to me. As my guest I would not hesitate to offer him the hospitality of my undivided attention. Yet I do believe that Jesus is truly present with me. Realizing that, I chose to give him that gift, and deep conversation ensued. I’m learning to ask myself Will I receive Jesus as my guest and offer him the gift of my full attention?

Choose to be present in the now
My distractions often revolve around re-working the past or being busy with the future. In doing this I risk missing out on the present moment which is the only piece of life I’m given to live. I wonder what I think I will accomplish by doing this. If I’m traveling will rushing to the front of the train get me to my destination any faster? My time is better invested staying in my seat and engaging in what’s before me. It’s the same when I come to meet with God. Will I engage fully in this time together, believing that God has something for me right now that I do not want to miss?

Realize that the world will not falter while I’m not busy with it.*
This piece of advice helps me to keep my sense of my own importance in check. If becoming silent brings up a compulsion to fill up the space with activity or to rush away to another commitment, I want to understand why that is. I've learned to ask myself: Am I willing to allow myself to be ‘useless’ for a few minutes in God’s presence with the knowledge that wasting time with God is always good and right? Since God is willing to make himself available to me, it shouldn’t be so hard to become unavailable to others for a time in order to give priority to him. The world can certainly wait and, if I let it, I return to it with more to offer.

If you would like to grow in this area of being fully present to Jesus, I suggest considering for yourself questions like those I’ve mentioned. Then plan to talk them over with a soul friend, a mentor or spiritual director. An intentional conversation can help to clarify both our intentions and the things that hinder us from reaching them. Clarifying those things is quite indispensable if we want to advance in life with God.

*from Anthony Bloom’s profound little book Beginning to Pray (Nederlands: De Weg Naar Binnen)

Part 1
The Call to Stillness
Part 3
Practicing the Presence
Getaway with God
Stillness retreat
Return to
Faith formation page


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