A collect normally used for the Morning Office on Thursdays asks God to help us remember that we are always walking in God’s sight. I wonder what that would be like, to remember, never forget, be continually mindful that we are always walking in God’s sight? Now and then I hear someone say that Jesus is their constant companion and, frankly, I don’t believe it. My guess is that most of us, even those of us who are diligent about daily meditation and prayer, seldom give God a second thought as we go about our daily business.
I imagine that constant remembrance that we are always walking in God’s sight could have dramatically different effects on different people depending, in part, on what they have been taught and come to believe about God. More than a few Christians have been raised with a constant reminder that they are living on the dangerous edge of hell, ready to be toppled in by a wrathful God whose (abounding and steadfast) love for them can be accessed only through a confession of faith in Jesus Christ and subsequent amendment of life. In counseling with some of them I’ve become aware of how scared they are of God and how frightening it is for them to think that they are always in God’s sight. It conjures up images of certain doom no matter how often they hear the good news of Christ’s redeeming love.
For others, the idea of always walking in God’s sight is an oxymoron since their understanding of God has him somewhere up there sitting on his throne in another world and not paying all that much attention to us. Of course, all that changes in moments of desperate need. Then it’s not so much a case of wanting to be in God’s sight so much as it is wanting God to be in their sights. None of that belies prayers offered up on a regular basis to lesser deities for boons such as a convenient parking spot, well sunk putt, or a touchdown for one’s favorite team.
But let’s set all that aside and assume a reasonably healthy relationship with God. What then would it mean to remember that we are always walking in God’s sigh? How might that affect my behavior and yours? Perhaps I would be more patient, less rude, more willing to take a risk on behalf of another’s need, more observant of and thankful for the many blessings that flow with abundance into my world. Maybe I would not be so anxious about the vagaries of life, inconsequential deadlines or the discomfort of unimportant things out of place. Perhaps I would become more confident of God’s patience with my many flaws and shortcomings, and his capacity to love me in spite of them. Maybe I would become less egocentric and more willing to take an appropriate place in the company of all human beings, especially those who can so easily bug me and are always somewhere in my consciousness. What would it be like for you?
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in or sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.