February 2, 2009 by currbell
This is the last quote I plan on posting from this book. This book has done more to make me recognize the areas I need to grow in that anything has in quite a while. It’s a little slow starting off. He goes through the Bible and christian history to look at examples of simplicity, or singular focus might be a better way to put it, and then makes application for our lives today. I can tell this is one of the those issues I’m going to have to keep coming back to through my life, and realign my priorities on.
“Frank Laubach spoke of his “game with Minutes.” The idea is to take a given hour each day and see how many minutes during that hour you can be conscious of God’s presence. At first you will find the practice difficult and you “score” will be low. This is all right; you are developing new spiritual muscles. With practice, the habit will become more and more ingrained. Make your first experiment in a worship service , and hopefully that will be an aid to your concentration. In time extend the experiment to the whole of you day.
When I first began reading Laubach’s journals, I was puzzled by the notations at the top of each day: “Conscious 50%….Conscious 25%….Conscious 80%.” No explanation whatever was given, and I would wonder, “Conscious of what?” Finally I realized that he was playing his little game with minutes and recording the percentage of each day that he felt he was living conscious of God’s presence.
I’m so glad he called it a game, because it is a delightful spiritual exercise. Besides, there needs to be a certain joyful lightheartedness about our task. Otherwise we will become overly serious and dreadfully boring…Our work is no grim duty. It is a delightful privilege. We are engaged in a joyous adventure, not a sour-faced penance.”
Freedom of Simplicity-Finding Harmony in a Complex World– by Richard J. Foster
The previous quote I posted and this one I think had the most impact on me. I’ve realized how I want to compartmentalize parts of my life as “God-Time”, (Bible reading, church, prayer), but the rest of the time I just live the best I can, and ask for help when I get stuck. I knew mentally that’s not what God wants, yet there is such a difference between knowing something in your head and in your heart. Days I have tried this “Game with Minutes” my day was completely different. When someone would frustrate me, the consciousness that God was right there with me made me react differently. Sometimes I would even think, “God, I don’t want to respond with kindness…but I will, because you treat me with such kindness. I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t for you so I offer this to you as a sacrifice. I pray you find it acceptable” Now I’m not so wordy in my thoughts but that’s the general idea. And suddenly I see the whole day differently, as a journey God wants to take with me; suddenly I understand how changing poopy diapers, typing an e-mail, or grocery shopping can be a holy task, when I let God not just be a part of my life, but the center of my life. What a life-what a journey it could be!