3 Jun 2018

Paddling in the Presence of God

Paddle, paddle, repeat.
Pray, pray, repeat.
     I went for my first paddle of the season on Saturday. A dear friend was visiting, and we loaded the canoe on the car, drove to the local watering hole, and went out paddling.

     We've had many adventures in canoes, and many conversations, and many silences.

     Canoeing is, for us, a sacred experience. It's (as we have often articulated) our happy place.

     Part of our conversation was about where we feel closest to God. For both of us, it's not a location on a map. Feeling God can happen anywhere, at any time, in any way. It's the sun dancing on the water, it's the heron gliding past like the Holy Spirit, it's the sound of the water dripping from the paddle. God is present for us, in those moments, as the still small voice of the created order begging to be heard; as the surprise of a sunfish suddenly leaping in the air beside the canoe, in the soreness of muscles long unused serving to remind of an adventure that was peace-providing.

     It was an extraordinary afternoon on the water; and it was an ordinary paddle on the lake. God's presence was undeniable, and we celebrated it. We chose to see God, and to be with God, and to hear God. We chose to dance with the divine, to embrace the unknowable, to find joy in the inexplicable. We laughed and chatted, we reminisced of the past and dreamt of the future. God was with us and we made extra effort to seek out that presence.

     How do you find God this day? Where do you find your rest in God? Is it from a piece of fine art, or in the lines of a poem? Is it a particular scent, or the distinct notes of a tune? How does the presence of God sound to you? How does it smell, how does it appear?

     I pray that you can realise you are in the presence of God, that you can find the sacred amid the ordinary, that you can delight in the simple realities that offer glimpses of an eternal delight.

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