ATTENTIVENESS: Practicing Attentiveness—What Have Been The Stars In Your Journey? by Leighton Ford

Discerning God’s Presence in All Things

Practicing Attentiveness—What Have Been The Stars In Your Journey?

From The Attentive Life

The wise men followed the star that led them to Bethlehem and to Jesus.  Writer Anne Lamott describes the “lily pads” – the people, incidents, life happenings – that point her to God.  A friend of mine speaks of the “clues” to how God is at work in our lives.  Others think of them as steppingstones.

In this book I describe some of those key people, events, and stages in my own life.  My spiritual mentor suggested that I write down what the “images” of God have been for me as I have become more and more conscious of his presence.  They range from “Jesus in my heart” as a five-year-old to the picture of a tree I climbed in college when I was feeling overwhelmed and needed a safe place.  For each of them I also noted a passage from the Bible that related to them.

What have been the stars, lily pads, steppingstones, images of God in your life?

In a time of quiet, take a piece of paper and make a number of circles (or stars or lily pads or steppingstones).  Try to recall any major events, happenings, and persons that had a deep spiritual influence on you.  Write a word or two in each circle to describe what you recall.

Some possible examples include your first prayer, sensing God in a sunset, a family crisis, a friend who influenced you, a huge disappointment, a season of doubt, something that surprised you with joy, realizing the Holy Spirit was in you.

Try to recall not just the outward event but the inner meaning it had for you – the spiritual movement that took place up or down, forward or backward.

Pause to thank God for these significant steppingstones and also to pay attention to areas in which you need more insight and growth.

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