Vol 1:40 Rhythms of Being on the Lookout for God

As the people of God in the world, we are called to demonstrate a different way of being human as we participate with God in God’s mission of redeeming humanity and creation. Throughout Advent, I will be exploring what it means for us to demonstrate a different rhythm of being the people of God in relation to rhythms of our culture.

Being a follower of Jesus Christ has everything to do with asking a missional question: how does my playing sports, my going to school, my working in the lab, my teaching students, my providing healthcare, my doing research, my serving customers and clients, my nurturing a family, my growing and harvesting food through farming have to do with what God is doing in the world?

This is the stuff of our daily living that we are engaged in and whatever we do shaped the rhythms of our day, the rhythms of our time. But how do we engage in what we do in light of the rhythms of God’s mission in the world?

Jesus expresses in Matthew 28:19, “as you go about living your life, doing what you do, be about making disciples of all nations . . . .” This points to our daily being and doing as being for a greater purpose than just our being and doing. In being disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to demonstrate by our actions, our words, our living, our producing and consuming, and through our relationships, a different rhythm of being human in the world.

I believe a first step in living our lives in light of God’s mission so as to be about making disciples means that we live in a rhythm of being on the lookout for God.

It is very easy for us to live our lives giving attention to what is beneficial for ourselves – living on the lookout for ourselves – taking care of our needs, our families, etc. This is the way of our culture, the rhythm of being who we are in relationship to others – we all take care of ourselves – sometimes with help from others when life gets overwhelming.

Yet, in identifying ourselves with Jesus Christ, we are no longer called to merely live for ourselves, but we live for God’s purposes, participating with God in what God is doing in the world – God’s mission reshapes the DNA of our existence in the world. And so, whatever we are engaged in throughout our Mondays to Fridays, we live and work with a different rhythm.

We live in the rhythm of being on the lookout for God. What I mean by this is that as a missional people, not only are we attuned to what our jobs or careers demand of us, but in the midst of them, we are also attuned to what God is up to, where God is working, whose lives God is touching. And not only do we develop this being attuned to God, as God’s missional people we also help interpret to others the moving of God in their lives – helping them become attuned to the rhythm of God actively engaging them.

My wife and I have a friend who has had very little room for God working in his life or in the world. But over the past couple of years, in our being on the lookout for God around him and interpreting God’s activity going on either around him or in him, he seems to becoming more open to the possibility that there may be a God active in the world – his language is shifting from statements of “No way!” to “if that’s what you need it to be” to “Maybe?”

As God’s missional people we have the privilege of being one’s who, in being on the lookout for God, have the ability to point out God and the rhythms of God’s activity to a world caught up in rhythms that take little notice of what has the power to shape them and make them whole.

I find that I do not readily notice God unless I begin by attuning my day to be aware of God’s rhythms – this aligning myself to God’s rhythms, to notice God’s activity, often involves praying – “Spirit of God, open my ears and eyes to see and hear you today, Lord. May the rhythm of my day be open to be shaped by your rhythms – help me notice where you are, in whom you are working – and may I somehow be part of what you are doing.” It’s amazing how God responds to that prayer by helping me see and giving me the courage to show the active presence of God in the midst of the ordinariness of my day.

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