I preached a sermon last Sunday called: Relaxing In The Deep Center at New Life Fellowship. It brought together weeks of wrestling with the the key to unlocking how Jesus lived and breathed out of a deep centeredness of loving union with the Father. He stated simply: “My Father is at work to this very day and I too am working” (John 5:17). What can we do, in our 21st century world, to also mature into deeply anchored people who relax in loving union with the Father? The following are the 3 spiritual practices that, I believe, are indispensable: 1. Silence and Solitude. These are the two most countercultural, challenging disciplines today. As Nouwen has said, “Without solitude it is almost impossible to have a spiritual life.” How much do you have now? How much do you need? 2. Self-Care Sabbaths – God built this intentionally into ancient Israel’s life. We too are to pause weekly, monthly, yearly and throughout our lifetimes to let God care for us. What are your Sabbath rhythms now? To what might the Spirit be inviting you? 3. The Prayer of Examen – This Ignatian practice from the 16th century teaches us to be still. Two or three times a day, the examen invites us to pause and to listen to the interior movements of God inside of us. We take a few moments for silence, becoming aware of God’s presence. Then we consider the activities of our day, asking ourselves these two questions:
- Where am I experiencing feelings of joy and peace? Where am I sensing connection with God (consolation)?
- Where am I experiencing sadness, apathy, and a sense of life draining out of me? Where am I sensing disconnection from God (desolation)
What indispensable spiritual practices might you add to my three?