The biggest objection out there to a life of spiritual discipline (definitions vary) is that we don’t have time. We’re too busy doing other things to stop and do something “spiritual”. The only response the church has come up with, agree or disagree, is to try and throw stats at it and say “Here’s how much time you spend doing_________. Don’t you feel that God at least deserves that much time?” What I’ve found about this approach though is that it’s much like what happens when you get a speeding ticket.
You go 15 miles under the limit with hands at “10 and 2” for about a week.
Then slowly you get back to the speed at which you so grievously broke the law.
Fear and guilt only last as long as the threat of punishment is there.
But what if we’ve got the whole thing backward? What if what you’re “doing” that keeps you from doing something “spiritual” is actually the spiritual thing? If we believe that the Spirit of Christ lives in us, (Gal. 2:20) then when we’re doing the mundane or routine tasks of life we’re actually doing something spiritual, because the Spirit is with us the whole time?
So what does this look like? Here are some suggestions:
Find your Rhythm – Identify that one thing that you do every day that you could do with your eyes closed. Unless it’s driving and then you need to seek help. If you’re a mechanic, the turning of the wrench could be your rhythm. If you’re a delivery person, driving your route. If you’re a stay at home mom, it’s the games or preparing lunch. Basically your rhythm is that necessary ebb and flow of every day life.
Find God in Your Rhythm – look for the fingerprints of God in that rhythm. Where is God working? What is present that wouldn’t be there if God didn’t make it? What emotions are you going through at the moment and what is God saying about them? How are you responding to your kids – with gratitude as they’re a gift from God or as an annoyance? Sometimes they are an annoyance, but remember that YOU’RE the one annoyed and why is that? It may be perfectly justified but where is it coming from?
Pray In Rhythm- An ancient scholar on prayer once said, “To pray is to live.” If you look at life in rhythm, this is totally and completely true. In the midst of your rhythm, in the midst of activity, ask God to look at the present moment with you. This doesn’t have to be a 30-minute prayer vigil in the dark. It can be 2 minutes on the way. Whatever time allows for. Ask: What do you notice about me and where are you leading me, God? What does it mean that I can’t enjoy playing with my kids because I’m thinking of everything else I need to do? What does it mean that I’m turning to ESPN right now than that conversation with my wife?
The point is to realize that everything we do in our life is an opportunity for God to speak. Even, if I may be so bold, when we sin it is an opportunity for God to encounter us and teach us something about ourselves.
So what’s your rhythm? How can you pray your rhythm today?
Coming this week: An interview with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and a chance for you to win a copy of his book "Common Prayers"! Keep visiting for more details!