Following his discussion of contemplating, abiding, and indwelling in Chapter 4 of The Attentive Life, Leighton Ford ponders how we can take those wonderful concepts and translate them into our own “prime time”. The author states that he finds it helpful to think of abiding as a continual conversation we have with God, in which we listen for God’s voice and speak back to Him.
The late Henri Nouwen referred to this as praying without ceasing. It is crucial to understand that to pray unceasingly does not mean to think of God to the exclusion of everything else, but to think, speak, and live in the presence of God. In Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith (with Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird), Henri Nouwen elaborated on this concept;
“Prayer can only become unceasing prayer when all of our thoughts- beautiful or ugly, high or low, proud or shameful, sorrowful or joyful- can be thought and expressed in the presence of God . . . . Prayer is an outward, carful attentiveness to the One who invites us to unceasing conversation.”
Leighton Ford observes that St. Paul directly quoted Jesus only 3 times. It was Jesus’ words living in Paul that changed him. So our question is not so much asking WWJD, but asking WIJD- What Is Jesus Doing? It’s not a matter of knowing what Jesus said, but listening and responding to His words.
Today’s question: How might you respond to Jesus’ words in your desert, transition time? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: new Short Meditation- “Trust without borders”