Since this past Advent season I have been very aware that the act of waiting and watching for God’s presence in my daily life needs not to be a seasonal practice but an everyday one.
This line from an Advent service has often been my meditation”-What if God’s name, Emanual, really means what it says? --God with us?”
What does that look like for me? How can I be more aware of what the gift of God is in an everyday way?
What has been helpful to me has been to become aware of what the Holy Spirit,- the Spirit of God who resides inside me, ,really offers. In John 16:4-7. (Message translation ) Jesus explains that it is better for him to leave than to be with the disciples on a daily basis because if he doesn't leave “the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you” . In those same verses the amplified version calls the Friend or Spirit the Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby
I have worked in the last few years to cultivate my friendship with the Spirit. As with any friendship, I am aware of what the relationship adds to my life. I identify the character traits that make me love and appreciate Spirit.
So here is an ever-growing list of what the Holy Spirit is to me. Each of these traits has an actual story /event in my life that illustrate it. This is how I recognize more readily the truth (and concrete help) of God with me.
Words holy spirit is to me-
Red flag giver
Mystery life jacket
Filler of emptiness-living water
Let me flesh out a few of these traits I most often access.
“Spin stopper”: I am recognizing more quickly the signs of my brain taking me to places in the future that are not real-yet I can easily not recognize their unreality and stay anxious about my self protection or self promotion. I sense Spirit saying, “stop the spin”. Look at the Father, not an unknown future.
“Pace Bunny”-A pace bunny is exactly that, a person who runs along side you to help you stay on pace for the race you are running. In this case, my pacing for life. Often after I stop the spin, I look around in my holy imagination and realize my pace bunny is not in front of me or alongside me, but behind me. I have run ahead of Spirit and I will not run the race well unless I go back to where my pace bunny is.
My list keeps growing! I know this is a little taste of what is available to me at the table Spirit has set before me.
Each of us will have a different list of what we need most to companion us on our journey. I encourage you to make your own list.
My list has helped me access the Spirit, increased my thankfulness and most importantly deepened my understanding of the power available to me. May this be true for each of us!