There’s a misconception about peace. We tend to believe that being at peace means the absence of discomfort, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Our inclination towards being comfortable can mislead us. In reality, God most often leads us to places fraught with challenges because this is how we grow in love. And what God wants most for us is to be equal to God in Love.
The spiritual life is a journey. We’re all headed somewhere. And like any journey, along the way, there will be danger, doubt, confusion, feelings of being alone, mixed with moments of sheer joy. It is easy to become consumed by what happens to us along the way and distracted from seeing instead, what is happening within us, and what God is becoming for us.
Seeing life through a spiritual lens involves changing our perception of who we are and who God is for us. And it takes work. Mostly because the first thing we see clearly when we put on our spiritual glasses are the false truths we tell ourselves. We see how we actually prefer the distractions because the way we are accustomed to seeing is more comforting to us than the hard work and discomfort of transformation. Yet it is in this way, that we also begin to see that the peace that God desires for us, offers us a different sort of freedom. Not freedom from trouble or discomfort, but freedom from our own illusions – that God is not present, at work within us, walking before us, whispering behind us. The greatest illusion is that we are alone, that we could actually drift beyond God’s reach.
This is not an easy shift in perception. But the shift does comes about slowly through a practiced, intentional effort to align ourselves with seeing through a spiritual lens. Contemplative prayer (or meditation) helps to re-align the way we see. As we sit, the mind shows us all kinds of thoughts and worries, even bright ideas. These thoughts will never go away…and that is not the goal of quiet prayer. Resting in Presence teaches you that while everything goes on around you, within you there is a place that is still and quiet, a place that exists beyond our thought world, a place where peace exists within us, regardless of what’s going on around us. We may only access that peace for a few seconds here or there when we first begin to practice. But over time, we will learn to find our way to that place with more frequency, not through any effort or will of our own, but by gently responding to God’s invitation to come and stay a little longer this time.