Catch and Release

I sought no more than how to be God’s and God’s alone. My goal made me resolve to give my all for the All…. Always I worshiped Him as often as I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence. When I wandered I brought Him back to my mind…. At all times, every hour, every minute, even at the busiest times. I drove away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense of the presence of God…. I just make it my business to persevere in His holy presence… My soul has had an habitual, silent, secret conversation with God.    ~ brother Lawrence

I’ll try today to un-muddy yesterday’s waters. Much of my thinking about God involves God as He intersects with the people and the things I think about, rather than God Himself. I pray for people: some are long intense prayers, others are brother Laurence breath prayers. I pray for things: wisdom for decisions, for perspective, for grace.

I pray FOR the people and things that I think about. That’s when I think about God the most. I spend time praising Him, but less time than talking through things with Him and very little time driving away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense of the presence of God.

I like to fish. I’m a book and a bobber fisher-person. I never let fishing interfere with my joy of the water or of a good book. If I don’t catch anything, it’s OK. If I do, I Catch and Release.

I think that’s the heart of what brother Lawrence was saying. He tried not to let anything interfere with his joy of the presence of God. When his thoughts caught on something else, he brought it to God and released it. It’s a contemplative life that’s a practice, not a vocation.

I’m not a worrier, but I have a propensity to become preoccupied: good things, bad things, people things, thing things. I get so caught up thinking and even praying, that in the end, there are precious few moments when I simply practice the presence of God, when my heart and adoration are on Him alone. I need to learn to Catch and Release in my living room, not just on the lake.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

17 thoughts on “Catch and Release”

  1. You did a great job yesterday and today! I love the catch and release concept! 🙂 That is oh-so-good. And you have me wanting to read Brother Lawrence again. It’s been too long.
    God bless you, Debbie, as you continue on in His presence and help us to too!

    1. Oh thank you, Deb!
      My self imposed 2 minutes means I need to stay under 350 words, including the quote. I guess I was a little too ambiguous yesterday and ended up with 372 today… Thank you for reading the short and the long of it! 🙂
      ~ Debbie

  2. I love that.. catch and release! I am such a scatter brain, I have been trying to learn to focus on God and just enjoying Him without getting distracted. Good post!

    1. Linda – Of all the words that come to mind when I think of you – scatterbrained is certainly not one of them! Thank you for reading and letting me know what you’re thinking wise, considerate, insightful friend of mine!
      ~ Debbie

  3. awww… okay, I’m throwing it back. Great words Debbie. And I’m kidding, I have been throwing them back for a long time now. I’ve found, as you say, there is much joy in His presence… everything else is just footnotes. God Bless.

  4. Holy cow! Yes! Once again, i was so keyed up with painting and blogging and preparing for the weekend i couldn’t sleep. That is not good! Meditation is what i got from your beautiful message. Make sure i have time to breathe, give thanks … whatever it is. Thanks, mel

    1. Hello Debby! I seemed to have cause more confusion than clarity yesterday so I thought I’d better take another run at it. Wouldn’t it be something to really do that – to practice His presence all the time – and he did it in the kitchen!
      ~ Debbie

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