There are real people who claim it has happened before. It happened to a man named Nicholas Herman in the food service industry. He had had stints in the military and in transportation, and now he was a short-order cook and bottle-washer. But he became deeply dissatisfied with his life; he worried chronically about himself, even whether or not he was saved.
One day Nick was looking at a tree, and the same truth struck him that struck the psalmist so long ago: the secret of the life of a tree is that it remains rooted in something other and deeper than itself. He decided to make his life an experiment in what he called a “habitual, silent, secret conversation of the soul with God.”
He is known today by the new name given to him by his friends: Brother Lawrence. He remained obscure throughout his life. He never got voted pope. He never got close to becoming the CEO of his organization. He stayed in the kitchen. But the people around him found that rivers of living water flowed out of him that made them want to know God the way he did. “The good brother found God everywhere,” one of them wrote, “as much while he was repairing shoes as while he was praying with the community.” After Lawrence died, his friends put together a book of his letters and conversations. It is called Practicing the Presence of God and is thought, apart from the Bible, to be the most widely read book of the last four centuries. This monastic short-order cook has probably out-sold novelists John Grisham and Tom Clancy and J. K. Rowling put together. — God Is Closer Than You Think: This Can Be the Greatest Moment of Your Life Because This Moment Is the Place Where You Can Meet God (John Ortberg)
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