I am delighted to share another beautiful submission for the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Rich Lewis' reflection on being nudged by God.
Is God Nudging You?
What are you doing with the questions you are asked by others? Are these questions God nudging you to take a specific action?
Let me share two questions that I was asked that I believe were God nudging me to take further action upon.
Before I share my first question, let me provide some background information. In early 2014, I began reading Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots by Amos Smith. While reading Amos' book, I began emailing Amos questions about his book. What is the Jesus Paradox? Why should I care? Am I also a divine being? What is this centering prayer? To my surprise Amos responded and we began an email dialogue. We continued to dialogue as I continued to read his book.
During May of 2014, Amos Smith asked me to co-author a book with him. Amos suggested that I write a book about what the Jesus Paradox means to me. (Amos defined the Jesus Paradox as, Jesus is "at once God and human". I spoke with my wife and within one week, I agreed. Since June 2014, I have been taking time once a week for two to three hours at a local coffee shop to write my journey. My book chapters include topics related to: prayer, centering prayer, the fruits of centering prayer, non-dual thinking, paradox, my inner divinity, the humanity of Jesus, the Cosmic Christ and the historical Jesus.
The point I want to make is that my response to this question sent me on an incredible journey into the Jesus Paradox. I now wanted to learn more about this Jesus who was at once both human and God. If I had not been asked this question, I am not certain I would ever have begun this amazing journey which included becoming a daily centering prayer practitioner, exploring other contemplative practices, and learning more about both the historical Jesus and the Jesus of my faith.
Let's move onto the second question that I was asked. In June of 2015, a friend at church asked me to teach an introduction to contemplative prayer class at the adult forum at her church. She had recently finished seminary and was now Director of Education at this church. She knew I was a centering prayer practitioner. Initially I was nervous but I still agreed to take her up on this offer. Over about one week, I put together a one hour session that included a short video and left room for thirty minutes of questions.
In August of 2015, I taught this class. Twelve people attended. To my surprise, it went well! There was much interest in silence as a new way to pray. After this class, I thought to myself, why not take this on the road so to speak. I created an email and began contacting churches within a 30 mile vicinity of my house. I offered to teach a 45-60 minute introduction to centering prayer/contemplative prayer session at one of their adult forum settings. To my surprise, a few churches responded. Since August of 2015, I have taught at three more churches and I am coordinating with two other churches to come in and meet with them. I am also coordinating with another church to help them start up a centering prayer group for the local community. This group will begin in the fall.
Recently, I also began contacting local colleges and universities and hope to meet with young adults. There seems to be much interest in contemplative prayer because soon I will be meeting with the campus minister at a local university to discuss how I can share contemplative prayer on the campus for students. I believe that God was and is continuing to nudge me to share silent prayer with the community.
We are constantly being asked questions. I am not suggesting that we say YES to all these questions. However, I am suggesting that we slow down, be silent, pray and discern which questions are God nudging you to take action upon. God asked me two vital questions: Do you want to write a book and do you want to teach a contemplative prayer class? God was nudging me to share the Jesus Paradox and centering prayer with others. I pray that I continue to be open to God's future questions. I pray that you too are open to questions God is asking you. And more importantly, I pray that you take action upon them."
Rich Lewis is daily practitioner of centering prayer since June 1, 2014. Rich teaches contemplative prayer in his local community at churches, colleges and universities. Rich co-leads the RCMR team (www.RCMR5.org) and is currently writing a book with Amos Smith, author of Healing the Divide.