FIRST: Lectio Divina
“Close your eyes, relax, be mindful of your breathing, listen as I read…”
Yikes, what is this all about? Should I open my eyes and run? Should I sit here and pretend to be participating? Is this “of the Lord”? Maybe I’m uncomfortable because it’s new. Wait, is this that latin thing I read about in the book on spiritual disciplines?
“What word or phrase sticks out to you from the readings?”
What? Now I have to respond? I was too busy focused on my thoughts that I did not hear the reading of the scripture. I was faced with making a choice: get up and leave, come clean and admit that I was not paying attention, or repeat the phrase which another person just uttered.
“If nothing popped out to you, simply pass.”
Pass. Whew. The session continued and I continued to pass each time. I could not wait to get out of there. It was just weird, uncomfortable, new.
Before I went to bed that night, I pulled out a couple of books on spiritual disciplines and searched for Bible reading and prayer. I’m not sure what folks were encouraged to do (since I was not closely paying attention), but it appeared to have elements of both. Meditative reading… Lectio Divina… Oh, I found that this was a legitimate discipline. In this situation, what I had previously read and pictured in my mind did not match what I had been led to practice. I wanted to be sure that this was “a God thing” so I asked two respected, godly people about Lectio Divina. They both gave me a thumbs up.
Many months later I again found myself in a similar situation – “Close your eyes, relax, be mindful of your breathing, listen as I read…”. This time I willingly participated. A phrase quickly surfaced, it was as if God were directly speaking to my heart and mind. He was.
The Word was coming alive, it related directly to my situation, it led me on a journey of pondering and then prayer.
As I continued to practice this discipline, I noticed that something positive was happening within me. The Word was coming alive, it related directly to my situation, it led me on a journey of pondering and then prayer. The pondering/reflecting and prayer usually was and continues to be a point of transformation. My life is changing because of the time I’m spending in Lectio Divina. It’s no longer weird, uncomfortable, or new to me. It’s life giving and life changing.