Spiritual Rhythms for the Life You Have – Part 1
The calendar page has turned, and we are now staring at a new year. There is a sigh of relief for many as we close the books on a year like no other. One positive note is that 2020 has caused us to be more circumspect than ever before. In many ways, we have been forced to stop and look at what really matters and discovered a renewed passion for living a more purposeful life that is not dictated by our circumstances.
With this thought in mind, the Spiritual Life Development Department is inviting you to be circumspect about your soul and rethink the spiritual rhythms of your life. Let each of us contemplate what will bring greater grace and peace to our life. In turn, it fills us with a more extraordinary passion for serving those around us in a more God-honoring fashion.
This journey to wholeness will be made through various means. There will be articles to whet your appetite on visiting or revisiting tried-and-true spiritual practices, interview articles with people from around the Eastern Territory who are practitioners of spiritual disciplines who desire to “do life” in fuller awareness of Christ’s presence. These are Salvationists from all walks and stages of life who have found spiritual rhythms to be vital to their soul health.
This series has been inspired by the book Sacred Chaos by Tricia McCary Rhodes. Certainly, there are many books on spiritual formation that are helpful, but this one has been chosen because of its refreshingly honest subtitle, “spiritual disciplines for the life you have.” That statement gives hope to all the weary sojourners. There is a desire to go deeper with Christ through spiritual rhythms, but throw up their hands in guilty surrender when they feel overwhelmed with the thought of adding one more thing to their already crowded life of responsibilities. As Rhodes states, “I want overworked executives to welcome his whispers in the midst of long company meetings, and sleep-deprived parent to commune with him as they change diapers or rock babies. I want college students to sense God’s presence through the pressure of midterm exams, and people who are energized by motion and activity – who actually take pleasure in life’s frenetic pace – to discern his touch in the crowded spaces where they thrive”.
Where to Begin
If you are interested in making some changes to stimulate your spiritual growth, one of the key ingredients is time. During the Great Depression, people would do anything to save money. Money was the hot commodity because it was so scarce. Today’s hot commodity is time. We have so much on our plates that we will do just about anything to save time. Time is of value; we spend it, bank it, or can’t afford any of it. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
To “redeem” means to exchange, convert, or cash in. What are those snippets of time throughout your day that can be converted from unproductive to productive?
- Waiting at a red light
- Standing in the grocery line (airport, DMV, etc.)
- Waiting at the doctor’s office
- Your daily commute
What are the times of day when your lingering moves to being unproductive?
- Ongoing social media viewing
- Mindless TV watching
- Extended internet surfing
- Hitting the “snooze” button…more than once
Spend some time with God and reflect on the following:
- Where Am I – be honest about where you are in your stewardship of time with Christ right now.
- Where is God Calling Me – is there a nudging of the Holy Spirit to move to a greater balance of rest, solitude and silence, and creativity? Be specific.
- What are my “clutter items” – What are the distractions robbing my time and attention to a holistic balance of time these days?
- Realistic Goal – What is a reachable goal for your spiritual life? Ask the Lord to direct you so that your goal is not out of God’s will and, therefore, becomes a source of shame or guilt.
Yes, the calendar page has been turned. Now let’s walk into this new year with a renewed longing to more like Christ than ever before. Watch for the next installment of “Spiritual Rhythms for the Life You Have.”