Thursday, September 25, 2008

A nudge and a whack

In my Renovare group today, we were offered a choice of practices to do this week. Since we're in the "contemplative tradition" section, they were all familiar to me. Things like "take 5-10 mins. daily to pray", "write a letter to God and read it every day", "sit in silence 5-10 mins. each day). Stuff like that.

I sat there thinking, "whoo boy, I Already Have these as my so-called disciplines, and am not very disciplined about them At All. Now what?" Then I re-read them, more as something to do than as a prompt to choose. In the re-reading I noticed three sentences, one in each of the first three practices. They all had something to do with attitude and approach, to wit:
"...The idea is simply to set aside your busy activities (or not start them) and turn your attention to God." (prayer)
"...Simply enjoy God's presence, God's loving arms wrapped around you. (meditation)
"...instead of reading what you select simply to understand it, read it "with God", knowing that God is there in the room with you." (devotions)

Nudge. Nudge. Whack.

So God wants me to simply spend time with her/him, rather than to Achieve the Requisite 10 minutes, or to Clear My Mind Completely, or to Really Take In What the Writer Had To Say. Imagine that: it's not a competition; it's not an order of magnitude. It's spending time with God. Simply. Gently.

A whole new spiritual practice, discovered in a morning whack with friends.

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