How do you best connect with God? I'm talking about the kind of prayer in which you most feel God's presence. I know a lot of people like a particular kind of worship music to feel in sync with Him. Others are closer to Him when reading the Bible, or doing the dishes or helping in a soup kitchen, scrap booking or researching family history. Some people actually are able to feel closest to God in church. I find I'm not one of those people. Don't get me wrong, I do worship Him in church, but I allow myself to be distracted because I'm in the choir loft facing the congregation throughout the service. It feels as if I'm on public display, and that isn't comfortable. I wish I weren't like that, but I am.
Most of the time, when I'm stressed and need to be alone with God to find my way again, I go hiking. Anyone who's known me for long won't be surprised by this, because I'm an avid hiker. It is during my hikes when I feel most able to open up to God and share my thoughts. I have a favorite question I like to ask Him. "Jesus, if you were walking beside me in person right now, what would you say to me?" It may take a while for an answer. Sometimes the answer is wonderful, sometimes hard, but I always know I've been given an answer.
Just last Sunday, I went on a hike. I've been kind of grumpy lately, and I wasn't feeling too good about myself. Still, it was a beautiful hike, where I saw evidence of feral pigs and a pawprint of what I'm pretty sure was a mountain lion. The autumn colors were amazing, the temperature was just right, and the sunshine was warm on my skin. I felt close to God, even though I didn't ask "the question."
But when I finally opened up and explained to Him why I didn't ask--yeah, like He didn't already know?--I immediately saw a migrating monarch butterfly flit above me. The breeze was a little stiff, and the butterfly was tossed all over the place, but it kept flying ahead despite the wind. In fact, as I watched, I saw more of its colors, almost as if the light reflecting from the butterfly made it appear to dance in the air. It wouldn't have appeared that way if not for the wind. That monarch was God's way of showing me that I may not be any more substantial than that butterfly when I struggle from problem to problem, battered by the winds of life. Still, I carry His Spirit in me, and that Spirit has the power to show through. It may even seem to some as if I'm dancing during some of the hard times of my life.
So how about you? How do you best meet with Him?