God is present, surrounding us at all times. But God is invisible. So how can you notice God?
Each of the 12 activities of A Methodist Way of Life are ‘thin places’ where we are perhaps more likely to notice God. So, when you practice one of them, pay attention!
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
(Psalm 139:7-11, NRSVUE)
Microjoys / glimmers
One way of noticing God is to be attentive to what some people call glimmers or microjoys - those moments when you get a sense of joy and peace in the middle of everyday life.
Often these moments of connection to depth and truth are where we feel God’s presence.
Ignatian daily examen
This is an ancient technique of spending time each day following a simple process.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your time of reflection.
- Review the day with gratitude.
- Pay attention to your emotions.
- Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
- Look toward tomorrow, following a simple process.
Sometimes we need the presence of another person to help us notice the hidden treasure of God’s presence. The Methodist President of Conference for 2023 explored how the qualities of a midwife models how we can help other people to notice God.
“Midwives are good listeners, not necessarily making quick judgements, but listening and looking carefully for signs of activity or concern that are not yet visible. It’s an attentive rather than a directive approach. The Church would do well to do the same. Listen carefully to our people and our communities and tune in to what is going on beneath the surface, becoming aware of what needs bringing into the light and recognising treasure when we find it!”
(Rev’d Gill Newton, Presidential address, Methodist conference 2023)
Not sure how to notice God? Try exploring one of the commitments of A Methodist Way Of Life, then come back to this page for ideas on how to practise noticing God through that practice.