A Reflective Life
As I journey with God in Christlike character formation I increasingly recognize the value of a reflective life. God’s training in me occurs as I notice the circumstances and attitudes of my day. Was I grumpy when I got up this morning? If so, where did that come from? What might God want me to notice as a result of my attitude? How might God be inviting me to turn the grumps into gratitude?
This is conversation I have with God. I used to think prayer was a list I gave to God. I now know prayer is a conversation I have with God. It is not a conversation like you and I have, and yet it is. I pose wonderings to God, seeking his wisdom as he offers me insight on the motivations within me. He helps me see my response in a particular situation was really self-oriented rather than other oriented. I wanted to look “good” as I told about my day. I was expressing pride rather than the humility I desire. Such heart work helps me grow in Christlikeness. And this heart work occurs because I talk to God about the highs and lows of my day. Through this conversation God is teaching and training me to have the nature of Christ.
I used to be reluctant to talk to God in this manner. He seemed so intimidating. Would he be condemning? But Jesus says, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” There is nothing unChristlike in God. And as I notice Christ dealing with the woman at the well, the adulteress, the woman pouring perfume on him and so forth I recognize there is no condemnation in his manner. His attitude is one of gentleness and invitation as he invites the women and those around them to see the value and worth of others, all others. I find this reflective life helps me connect with God’s enduring love.
I close once again with same quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “Why do you think God created us?’ Responding to his own question, he said, ‘God created us not because God is lonely and needs us, but because God love us and wants us.’”
I find in many ways these familiar words give me a God shaped hug, so I want to extend that same hug to you.
Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2016), 35.