You know that moment when your day is coming to a close. The sky is edging its way to darkness, the dishwasher is churning (ahh, music to my ears), perhaps a candle has been lit to signify that this, right here, right now, is sacred space.
You’ve made it through another day.
You take a breath.
And another, deeper this time.
You let your shoulders relax.
Now what? Where does your mind go? What do your hands reach for?
Are you opening up Instagram, again? Or heading straight to the laptop to finish up work? Are you making a mental list of all the cleaning you want to get done in the next 2.5 hours?
Well, before any of that, as necessary (or not) as these things might be, I want to invite you into something. Something to uplift you. Something so simple yet so beautiful and profound.
It is to ask yourself this one question: Where was God today?
And not with that sarcastic tone, like Where in the world was God in that frantic mess of a day?!
But, honestly, where was he?
If you’re anything like me, you can only remember about 30 minutes ago, so start there.
Hmm, okay. I was reading to my kids. That was actually pretty nice, all three of us on my son’s bed, one under each arm of mine.
Yes, God was there. Definitely. Prompting me to pray for them when I almost forgot, even though all I wanted was to turn off the light and close the door. Yep, he was there. In the prayer I fumbled through while my oldest twisted a thick strand of my hair around his finger and his brother climbed back into my lap and nuzzled his nose into my cheek. That moment was grace, pure and sweet.
And oh yes, I remember what happened earlier. A mistake I made. Frustration mounting and words said too quickly. I ask for forgiveness, for more patience and peace tomorrow. Tomorrow is a fresh start.
This process of reflection has a fancy name, it’s the Daily Examen usually credited to St. Ignatius of Loyola [1491-1556]. There is plenty written on the topic, but maybe just start with this one question at day’s end:
Where was God today?
You could make it formal and write down your thoughts and prayers and hopes for tomorrow, maybe you have a lovely colour-coded bullet journal all ready to go for this type of thing. Or maybe it’s just what you ponder in your mind while you sit on the couch eating the last piece of chocolate waiting for your tea to cool and the rambunctious 6 year old down the hall to pass out (as some of us might do).
Take a moment to rest in his love and kindness towards you. Don’t rush this part, dear friend. Move from this place encouraged, that he has been with you. And as your head finally hits the pillow, you’ll fall asleep knowing he will be with you tomorrow, too.
And every day after that.