reading the evidence

It was an almost perfect day: sunny with blue skies, highs in the mid 70s. Our windows were open, the house was (somehow) quiet, and I was reclined on the bed watching the curtains alternately billow in, then plaster themselves against the screen, as if the outside were breathing (I love billowing curtains). With the breeze I was perfectly comfortable without any artificial conditioning (a.c.—or heat, for that matter), and I found myself wishing I could (somehow) stay awake while napping so as to enjoy—so as to truly appreciate, the napping all the more.

And I was struck by the irony of wanting to be aware of what could only happen when unaware. And I reflected on whether or not it were even possible to be aware of enjoying. For isn’t that is to have a reflective dimension to experience that would actually get in the way of—actually create a distance within—that experience?

You can’t really be aware while absorbed in something. It has to do with mindfulness.

And so we enjoy what happens before it happens in anticipation and we enjoy it afterwards in reflection, but not actually during—in the moment. Isn’t that odd?

The Puritans had a spiritual discipline they called “reading the evidence.” At the end of the day, as individuals and as families, they reflected on the day and “read the evidence” of God’s presence with them—God’s truth made manifest to them. Because sometimes it’s only evident in reflection—upon consideration. Day by day, we entertain God unaware, and it takes intentional pondering to become aware. You have to choose to read the evidence available to you, or you will never know what it might lead you to believe.


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