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Secret acts of devotion are the best paths | Faithful Living
I love taking road trips and the more spontaneous the better. As long as my husband and I have a full tank of gas, our phones and iPad, coffee, and a blanket for me, we are good to go. With such amenities we can text, Facebook, watch movies, use our GPS features, listen to music, read or game. The world is at our fingertips if we want it to be.
The main reason I love to explore by car, beyond the fun of seeing new sights and meeting new people, is the fact that I can be quiet with my husband. We don’t have to fill every silence with conversation if we don’t want to. I love to sit beside him, put my hand atop his hand resting on the stick shift, and think about him. Think about our life together. Think about new plans and hopes. I can spend time loving him without interruption.
I share this because writer Gary Thomas, who identifies 10 distinctive personality types in his book, “Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God,” claims that there are people who connect with God best when they spend uninterrupted time simply loving Him. Thomas calls these people, “contemplatives,” and while I don’t count myself among them, my desire to emotionally connect with my husband and the joy I experience just being with him gives me insight into this very interesting pathway to God.
Contemplatives understand that God does not seek dispassionate servants; instead He desires relationships based on love. They point to scripture, especially Deuteronomy 6:5 that says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” They also point to numerous Bible stories where people’s genuine worship of God is cherished, valued and rewarded.
Contemplatives connect with God and love Him more deeply during times of prayer and are quite creative in their approaches.
One such prayer is a simple one that goes like this: “Come to my aid, God; Lord, come quickly to help me.”
Such a simple invitation reminds people of their need for God and full-fledged desire to be with Him.
Another favorite prayer is called a “Centering Prayer” and involves no activity other than resting in the presence of God. Called “meditation” by others, when you center yourself in prayer you can choose one word to mentally repeat each time your mind drifts away from the goal to focus on God and be near Him.
If the idea of being still is difficult, yet you still long to purely love God with all your being for intense moments, join other contemplatives who enjoy secret acts of devotion no one will ever know about. The importance of secrecy ensures you are dong it for the love of God and the possibilities are many:
An anonymous gift of cash to someone in need
Fasting and prayer for someone in crisis
Working behind the scenes to help someone get a job
Sending a note of encouragement to someone
Planting a tree to commemorate the life of someone treasured and missed.
Contemplatives remind us that offering God our personal love and affection is a treasured gift. May we grow in our desire to express that love.
Joan Bay Klope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org