Centuries ago a man named Nicolas Herman, who was an uneducated household servant from a poor family, was converted looking at a tree. It was a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit. What caught his attention was the realization that the tree awaited the sure hope of a springtime revival and summer abundance. As Herman continued to be mesmerized by the tree, he deeply grasped the extravagance of God’s grace and His unfailing power and control over creation.
Like the tree, Herman felt seemingly dead, but held hope that God had life waiting for him and that the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said that leafless tree “first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God,” and a love for God that never ceased. Shortly after, an injury forced his retirement from the army and, after a stint as a footman, he sought a place where he could suffer for his failures. He thus entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Paris, as Brother Lawrence.
When he died, some of his letters were gathered together and turned into a book. The book is called The Practice of the Presence of God, written in the seventeenth century. It is now thought to be, beyond the Bible, perhaps one of the most widely read books in the history of the human race. It is one of those that I have read many times over the years.
Now it is our turn to practice His presence. It is our turn to discover Meeting Jesus in the Kitchen.
God wants to do life with you moment by moment. If you and I are willing, God will guide us into an amazing experience of life. Our goal for this week (and the remainder of Lent) is to establish a moment-by-moment connection. Here is my plan to practice this discipline; I hope you will join me.
I will set my alarm on my phone to vibrate every hour (while I am awake). When my phone vibrates, I will pause long enough to remember that God is with me and spend a moment or two in conversation with Him. The vibration or beep will remind me to acknowledge God and HIs presence with me.
This discipline takes practice and we will never attain perfection. There will be times when we get sidetracked or off-focus. The key is when we slip, to simply begin again.