I published this several years ago. I came across it after a particularly difficult hospital day. The questions that invited me to think back through the presence of God in the middle of pain were helpful. Perhaps they will help you as well.
At the end of the day there is often value in looking back. There is even a process of prayer to help with this. It’s called the prayer of examen.
- You acknowledge that God is present all the time.
- You tell God you are grateful for something. For everything.
- You ask God to help you remember your day, to bring to mind what he wants you to see.
- You then review your day from God’s perspective. Where did you love? Where did you wage peace? Where did you encourage? Where were you encouraged? Where did you cause pain?
- And then you respond to what you’ve seen, with repentance, gratitude, restitution, renewal.
At the core of examen is asking God where to look in your day, to help you see your self, your life, the way that he wants. And as I’ve been thinking about the process of examen for the past couple months, I realize that I am more prone to look to you to evaluate my day than I am to ask God.
I look at comments to me, mentions of me. I draw relief and affirmation. I look at blog statistics.I notice what posts are being read. I notice the ebb and flow of views. I wonder how to generate more traffic. For a business, of course, that is exactly what you should do. But I am not a business.
I, and perhaps you, depend on each other to determine our value, our next steps. But as much as I like you — and your liking — you are not adequate as God.
I need to remember David’s approach:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.