It seems to be popular in our society to be busy. Some of my friends have so much going on that they can’t think straight. After a busy week of school, work, activities, sports, it’s suddenly Sunday night, and we’re wiped out. How do we recharge? Where do we find respite? Most importantly, where do we find God in our daily lives, in our day-to-day activities?
Last year, I wrote about slowing down in our daily lives. I felt the need to slow down after years of a long commute to school and work. I very intentionally decided to not take on any activities that my girls did not want to do. No obligatory soccer, dance classes or birthday parties. We also stopped taking the highway everywhere, and committed to taking the most beautiful route possible to our destination.
The reason I decided to take these steps was that I began to question the purpose of all of this busyness. What does God want for our lives? What are we here for? Are we here to cram as much stuff in a day as possible? If we do, where and when do we find meaning? Where and when do we find God?
I found it difficult to discern my purpose, and help my girls figure out theirs, when we were constantly on the move. I wanted to find more time to worship God in different ways. One way that I connected with God was in the woods, and quite unexpectedly. Once I realized that God was most present to me outdoors, I wanted to tell everyone about it. Of course, I started with my girls. We’ve walked outside, prayed outside, done Bible study outside.
Recently, I’ve pondered whether or not the girls were getting the message that it’s important to take time to enjoy, respect, and honor God’s creation. Were my efforts having an effect on them? Did they feel closer to God through our intentional slowing down? Only one way to find out – I asked them if and how they felt connected to God on a daily basis.
Kaia answered immediately: “GG.” That’s her nickname for one of our cats, Gus. Kaia connects with God through our cat, because, in her words, “he’s my spiritual being.” She asked Gus to give her licks if they were spiritually connected. He licked her three times. “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!” she exclaimed. Kaia never ceases to surprise me.
When I asked her why she saw God in our cat, she said, “You know how there are shows about convicts and cats? It’s kind of like that.” Answered like a true teenager! But I understand what she means. There’s an indescribable connection to God’s creation that she can’t articulate, but that she feels very deeply. That’s the kind of connection I want them to have with God.
Jaiya had a harder time answering. In fact, she said she needed more time to think about it. That’s great! Posing the question and getting her mind and heart working on it is what works for her. I know that sometime over the next couple of days, she’ll come to me with either an answer, or with questions for a discussion. Each of my girls has their own way of processing information, and it’s important for them to feel that their way is okay.
God is everywhere we look, but we often don’t see God. By building intentionality into our days, my girls and I make time to enjoy God’s creation. Once again, my girls remind me that I need to be more overt and explain why we stop and smell the lilacs; to go deeper than just enjoying the fragrance, and work toward seeking and inviting God into our lives.
How do you include God in your daily life? Where do you most see God in nature?