Message of Faith – Practicing the Presence

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

Throughout life, all of us have times of practice. Perhaps you have practiced playing piano, of softball. Perhaps you’ve practiced karate or singing. When I was about 10, I began practicing the guitar. I learned how to place my finger on the frets, how to strum, how to use a pick. By the time I reached adulthood, I had quit playing guitar. Why? Because I quit practicing! Anything that we desire to know better, do better, or be better requires practice.

So what are the components of practice? Practice requires that we show up. You can’t think about practicing and call that practice. It requires action. It requires dedication and commitment to consistently show up in that action of practice. Discipline is required to continue to practice even when you don’t feel like it. Anytime you want to get better at something, you must spend time at it.

Medation-by-lake-WEBThe same is true for practicing the presence of God. You need to show up with discipline, dedication and commitment. You have to want to come to a deeper understanding of the presence of God. It’s not enough to just think about God, read about God, and speak about God. You have to take action to practice the presence of God.

So what is the Presence? In Unity, we know that the Power and Presence of God is within each and every one of us. It is at the very center of our being. We know the Presence of God is expressed in, through and as us as our 12 powers of being. Those twelve powers include faith, love, strength, wisdom, power, imagination, understanding, will, enthusiasm, order, release and life. Any time you consciously invoke your powers within any situation or circumstance of your life, you are practicing the Presence.

Every moment of every day provides you with an opportunity to practice the Presence of God. When you wake up in the morning, you can practice the presence by taking a conscious breath and giving thanks for the life that courses through you on this new day. As you go about your daily activity, you can practice the Presence by calling forth wisdom to make healthy choices; drawing on understanding to extend forgiveness; surrendering and releasing expectations of how things will turn out.

Practicing the Presence asks you to integrate an awareness of God in every moment, every thought, every word, and every action of your day. Sound overwhelming? When you first begin practicing anything it can feel overwhelming.

Remember the first time you drove a car? Initially you were hyper aware of everything you needed to do from putting on your seatbelt, turning on your blinker, rounding a corner, to merging into traffic. It required all of your awareness to learn how to drive a car. You practiced until you were confident and understood enough to take and pass the written and driving exam. Years later, you likely can drive your car with very little thought. You likely tune into various radio stations, change CD’s, talk on your phone or eat a sandwich all while driving through rush hour traffic!

As you practice the Presence of God, it may seem overwhelming at first to integrate an awareness of God’s presence into every area of your life. However, with commitment, consistency and time, practicing the Presence of God will come as naturally as driving your car.

This week, become aware of what it means to practice the presence of God in your life. How much time are you committing each day? How disciplined are you in that commitment? How can you make a habit of spending time with God each day? How many opportunities are you aware of each day to practice the presence? Are you taking those opportunities or letting them pass?

Simply become willing to practice the presence of God this week as you come to a deeper personal understanding of what that means.

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Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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