In a previous post, we talked about seeking to settle the waters of our internal life so that we can more clearly see and hear the Holy Spirit as He works within us. Now this all sounds like a nice, spiritual, thing to do, but how does it translate into “real life”? After all, we can’t spend our lives perched on a lofty dais. We have to come down at one time or another to tend to less spiritual things in the midst of the daily grind.
During our devotional times, such as when we are meditating, we are cultivating an inner stillness and attention to God. However, the aim of these activities is not only to become practiced at spending time with and listening to God. Rather, we could think of these times as a re-centering of ourselves on God. The motions and forces we encounter in daily life (temptations, frustrations, inundations, etc.) tend to pull us away from God so that our center is no longer on Him. They also tend to disturb our inner life, making it rough and choppy.
Because we are so accustomed to living our lives in this hubbub, it has essentially become our state of equilibrium towards which we are drawn by default. This is part of the reason, I think, why things like silence or stillness are so uncomfortable to us at first. They go against our grain. However, as we persist in spending quiet time with God, through the working of His grace, our equilibrium begins to shift towards an inner peace that comes from God alone. This being centered on God becomes the shading and color of everyday life. Not that everything will be sunshine and lollipops, but we will be living out of and viewing things through a heavenly perspective. With this becoming the norm for the rest of our time, the times we set aside for devotion and focusing on God shift in functionality from strictly being time blocked out to pay attention to God to being time in which we are refueled and refreshed for everything else.
We might think of it as visiting the gas station. While most car-business consists of driving and transporting, the periodic visits to the petrol pump are necessary for all of the driving and transporting to happen. Likewise, the periodic times spent refocusing on God are necessary for the rest of our Christian lives to happen (as opposed to forgetting about our spiritual life as soon as we return to our daily life, as if the two were separate).
In much fewer words, by spending time settling our internal life, we cooperate with God’s work to shift our default setting to a heavenly perspective. The times we take for devotion serve as a base out of which we live the rest of our lives because it is there that we are refreshed and resupplied for the journey. It is also there that we are reminded that there is no separation between our spiritual life and our daily life.