John Ortberg begins Chapter 2 (“Where’s Waldo?”) of God is Closer Than You Think with the following quote from Armand Nicholi on experiencing God’s presence:
“We may ignore, but we cannot evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always easy to penetrate. The real labor is to remember to attend.”
That’s quite similar, Pastor Ortberg notes, to finding Waldo in the famous series of children’s books by illustrator Martin Handford. While Waldo is on every page, he’s often hidden to the untrained eye. Waldo may be hidden and elusive, but he’s not absent. One must be patient in developing the capacity to track down Waldo. As finding Waldo becomes more difficult on succeeding pages, one’s power of discernment increases. There is a sense of joy and accomplishment when Waldo is found.
The author then applies “the Waldo factor” to seeking to experience God’s presence in our lives:
“Let every day, every moment of your life be another page. God is there, the Scriptures tell us, on every one of them. But the ease with which he may be found varies from one page to the next.”
Our lives cannot be on spiritual autopilot. As we intentionally affirm God’s presence and blessing through grace, joy and thanksgiving, we say with David: “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”- Psalm 51:15