This week I shared an article with you describing the journey that I’m on with God (“I’m Done With Living Like a Christian“). I desire to know Jesus in a fresh way, one that is not defined merely by theological theoreticals or “doing,” but rather “being.” “Being” meaning to discover who I am in relation to Jesus rather than merely “doing” the ethics of Jesus.
This is not some weird “doing vs being” dichotomy, but rather that out of our “being” with Christ we develop his character to naturally “do” the things he “does.” And insofar that we learn, prepare, know, and engage with the Spirit of Christ, then we can be prepared for the moments when doing Christian ethics matters most. Ethics like – enemy love, service to the poor, sexual purity, non-judgmental attitudes – all are wonderful acts of “doing” when they are the outflow of Christ-centered “being.” This is not to say that spirituality should look the same for everyone, but rather is what I feel God doing in me.
In this season in my journey, I’m spending time in the morning (and sometimes at night) going through the book of Matthew. I am reading it slowly… chuck of text at a time. I read it. Re-read it. Re-read it again. And while reading, I ask God to make a phrase or word stand out. Whatever that word or phrase is, I then ask God to speak to me about possible application or insight that fits where I am in my life with Christ. Basically, I do Lectio Divina / contemplative listening prayer / journaling (about my various insights and [when I am so privileged] words from God). This has been empowering in many ways. I also plan to build into my life rhythm one day a month where I go on a half day spiritual retreat. Luckily for me, we have a wonderful retreat center just outside the city.
I hope you don’t read the above description and think that I figured this out. In fact, there’s days when I don’t feel like sitting in silence with my Bible at all. But I persist because I know that long term benefits will be worth it. Well, I hope to persist.
I want to hear from you. What does your spiritual disciplines rhythm look like on a given day, week, or month? Positives? Struggles? What does “being” look like for you?
To read about my failures read this: When Sucking at Spiritual Habits Sucks the Life Outta Ya