... in a chance encounter

Published on 18 Mar 2016

For me, God often reveals himself in an encounter with another person. While I was at university, I attended a dinner with a prescribed seating plan and found myself next to a stranger. Conversation turned to the subject of prayer and I mentioned that I mostly prayed out of necessity, when feeling a particularly strong need for God. I meant this as a criticism, that I never prayed when things were going well, never took the time to thank God during the better times. But to my surprise, the guy I'd just met said 'that's so great! When I'm scared or feeling low, I never think to pray. That's when I become lax and stop altogether.' 

It was the only time we spoke and I don't even remember his name or anything else about that evening. But I've never forgotten it, because it felt as though God was speaking to me through him – and to him through me – reminding us what was good about what each of us was doing. I envied him for keeping God present in his life even when he felt his worldly needs were satisfied. And yet he envied something in me, too: the ability to prioritise a spiritual need over more mundane needs.

A lot of people give up on God when they feel something isn't going right in their day-to-day lives, whereas I intuitively know that before I can tackle life's problems, I need to feel spiritually replenished. That's not something to feel guilty about!

 ... and since that chance encounter, I've got better at thanking God when things are going swimmingly too.