At Episcopal Cafe there is a short video of Fr. Thomas Keating, a major advocate of centering prayer, and he talks a bit about centering prayer, but mostly he says that it is consenting to God's presence. We don't have to seek God because God is already here. And, he laughingly says, we'd better get used to it (the presence of God) now because that's how it will be for eternity.
There's a thought! What a shock to our systems to suddenly realize we are going to be with God forever, especially when when we haven't realized that God is with us now. So, we'd better get used to the idea that God is with us, now and forever.
I am overhwelmed. I've always believed that God is with us/me, but I never thought about it in terms of eternity, always, everywhere, all the time, now (not now and then), not just when God's presence slips into my consciousness. Whoa!!! But, it's good systematic theology to believe that, if God is with us now, God is with us always and will be with us always. God's not here during the bad times or the thankful times; God's here all the time.
Ooops. That means that God is with me when I make those snide comments in my head. I don't pray aloud always; so I guess God can hear my thoughts. And, now I'm almost panicking. What about those times when I've said one thing and thought another? What about the time I stormed into the rector's office and said, "I'm going to kill that ....." (rest is unprintable).
God has seen me at my worst and my best, and I believe that God still loves me and is with me, now and always. When I think back to what we've been through together, I am okay with the idea of eternity in God's presence. And, like Keating, centering prayer is good way to start feeling and knowing that presence as our thoughts scroll through myriad people, words, places, events, and remembering to keep our mouths shut so we can hear.