Finding God in the everyday

(Extract of Enjoying God, written by Tim Chester, published by TheGoodBookCompany)

My wife and I have an allotment. An allotment is a strange British institution in which people can rent a pocket of land to grow vegetables. Recently I was at my allotment waiting for a shed to be delivered. The delivery driver was due to phone me to let me know when he would arrive. Time went by and still no call came. So I checked my phone. It was dead. That put me in a dilemma. Should I stay in case the shed arrived or go home to plug in the phone to find out what was happening? Neither option felt like a good one. I set off towards my car. Then I changed my mind. Standing by my car, I let out an audible cry of frustration.

At that very moment the delivery driver turned up. We unloaded the shed together while he chatted cheerfully away. Then as I carried a piece of shed wall over to our allotment, two red kites appeared overhead-that’s “kite” as in bird of prey rather than a children’s toy. It was the first time I’d seen red kites over our town.

A delivered shed and two birds in the sky. So what? No big deal. But let’s view the scene with the eyes of faith. As I walked back towards my allotment, I had a powerful sense of God’s goodness. I wish I could say this was God’s answer to my prayer. But I hadn’t prayed. I’d simply been grumpy. Now it felt like God was saying, in my love I’ve granted you a request you didn’t make! Oh, and by the way, here are two kites to give you pleasure. I had to laugh. It was the most loving of rebukes.

“You hem me in,” says Psalm 139 v 5, “behind and before”. We sometimes ask God to be present or to act. But all the time God is around us, behind us and before us. It’s as if we can’t move without bumping into him. What we really need is eyes to see and ears to hear. That’s what this book attempts to do for you.

Putting it into Practice

Whenever you’re alone this week, start a conversation with your heavenly Father. This might mean turning off the car radio or taking off your headphones. Or it might mean putting your headphones on so you’re not distracted by conversations on the bus. If you have a tendency to talk to yourself, then this exercise shouldn’t be too hard-just direct that internal monologue towards God.

It doesn’t matter what you say. Just talk about whatever you’re thinking about. Talk about the day ahead or the day that’s just past. Talk about the things that are exciting you or worrying you or annoying you. Tell God about your day-dreams. The aim is to reinforce the idea that we have a two-way relationship with God. At any time and in any place, we can relate to God.