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Desert Rhythms: Part 2

Posted on December 17th, 2010

I have just completed a month reflecting on Mark 1 and the rhythms of Jesus. The following is a nice visual of His being with God (contemplation) and His doing (activity). So the question is what might it look like for us to withdraw to a desert in our daily lives, to engage in the rhythms of Jesus of “Being with the Father” and “Doing/Activity.” The following are a few suggestions, many of which come from David Benner’s excellent new book Opening to God. •    Pause for Sabbath for 24 hr. each week (Stop, rest, delight, contemplate). •    Pause for Daily Office two to three times a day. •    Sunday worship/Small group– to worship/sit under the Word. •    Read a passage of Scripture and listening for God’s personal word to you. •    Light a candle in your home. •    Allow music to draw your spirit to God’s Spirit. •    Review your day and noticing where and how God was present to you in it. •    Recall your blessings and responding with gratitude. •    Read a devotional book prayerfully/thoughtfully. •    Stop at lunch. Go outside. Really see people. Smell air. Give God praise. •    Repeat the Jesus prayer at work. “Lord Jesus X, have mercy on me, a sinner”. •    Take a contemplative walk in the park/woods. •    Sit in silence allowing yourself to be hugged by God. •    Meditatively speak the Lord’s prayer. •    Attend to your breathing- drawing in God as you inhale and releasing sin as you exhale. •    Meditate on a work of biblical art. •    Allow your heart to soar in awe in response to a sunset, a storm, a tree, a flower. •    Cook a slow meal, pondering all that went in to the ingredients and a sensory feast. •    Transition before going from one thing to the next in your day. Our call is, I believe, to contemplative action, i.e. action that flows out of a real enounter with God. The possibilities are almost infinite for the kind of creative ways we can BE in the midst of our DOINGS in life. I am convinced that we don’t need to go anywhere to find God or be with God. He is already inside us! What other ways has God enabled you to stop running in order to cultivate a sense of His indwelling presence?

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