Certain moments stay with you for a long time. When I was in Bible college I had the opportunity to be under two different presidents. Dr. Gordon Anderson came on as president of North Central University the second year that I was there. It was fun to watch a change in leadership.
Chapel attendance was one of the requirements at the time and there are some services that I still remember and others that have long since left my mind. There was a series of events that happened the first year Dr Anderson was there that has stayed with me all of these years later.
At one of the chapel services Dave Pedde was leading us in songs of worship. Dave was one of the professors from the music department who would become one of my favorites. Even though I only had one class that he taught I loved his authentic heart and passion for God. On this particular service his authentic nature caused him to stop in the middle of his leading. He said something to the effect, “God is here. It is easy to simply play notes and miss the reality that God is here.”
It was shortly after that during another chapel service where Dr. Anderson was doing a series of messages on the subject of revival. It was such a great series that I got the cassette tapes and listened to them over again. In one of those messages Dr. Anderson referenced back to Dave Pedde’s comment on the fact that “God is here.”
He made a good natured joke that he was glad that the music department was becoming aware of the omni-presence of God. He light-heartedly said the Theology department had known that fact for a while. He then turned to a life changing thought that has stayed with me ever since. Although the fact that God is always with us is a reality of the Bible, we are not always, “awake” to His presence. He pointed out that this is why the prophets often needed to encourage the people to, “wake up.”
This truth has reminded me of my job to wake myself up to God’s presence all around. I try to practice the discipline that Dallas Willard did while he was living. When he woke up in the morning, before he even left the bed, he would acknowledge the presence of God. What simple habits do you need to start to wake yourself up to the reality that you are in God’s presence right now?