God is open with us, yet a Great Mystery. He desires us to know Him, but no matter how much we pursue, we never fully arrive or understand. His hugeness cannot be contained in our doctrinal boxes, codified dogmas, or even the Bible. If we want to grow, deepen, and understand Him, ourselves, others, and the world around us, we must be open to Him. A simple, ordinary workday can be transformed into a deeper, spiritual journey if we integrate the contemplative path into it. The purpose of the contemplative path is to choose simple disciplines to increasingly open ourselves to God and His presence and work in and around us. Greg Paul, pastor and author, describes how we can merge the contemplative path with everyday life in his book Simply Open: A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday.
Our five senses can provide a path deeper into the great mystery of God, the Creator and Sustainer. Greg Paul leads us how we can be open to God in everyday life through our five sense - our eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, as well as our minds and hearts. In each of these, he describes the cycle of releasing, receiving, becoming, and doing. He explains that the path is not linear or sequential as described in his book, but as we move further along the path, we will find how all the senses and the cycles assimilate beautifully.
My favorite part of the book was Greg Paul’s discussion of certainty. Surprisingly, I agree that certainty is the enemy of faith and the enemy of openness to God. Our faith grows most in the presence of uncertainty, when we stop trusting our own judgment so hard and be willing to consider new perspectives, approaches, abilities, and modes of doing or being. The practices in this book to open ourselves up to experiencing God are ways that He can gradually transform us as we seek Him. I highly recommend this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.