Practice of any sort is good for us; it makes us better at whatever it is we are learning. The same is true for a spiritual practice or discipline. Spiritual practices or disciplines come in all shapes and sizes, mostly because they adapt into what fits best for our individual lives. From daily prayer and devotion to walking to meditation, spiritual practices are different for everyone.
During Lent many of us practice the art of giving up something, such as meat or soda. Or perhaps we take on a Bible study or group study at church as a way to practice and deepen our faith. Or we do mission projects or attend church more. Or we write notes to people or take photos of where we see God in our world.
In February my One Little Word group invited the participants to take on a practice, something small and easy to obtain, though also challenging for us. I decided to embrace (my word) rest and renewal. Being a night-owl, I’m usually up really late and mornings tend to be difficult. I make up for it by drinking coffee and taking the occasional afternoon nap like I did in kindergarten. However, it’s a bad habit and something I hope to squish in 2017.
I haven’t been all that successful in my daily practice, a new spiritual discipline as much of my One Little Word project has become. Sickness set me back a bit, though I was in bed early, rising in the morning was hard when you’re not feeling too great and the bed so warm. However, I don’t feel defeated.
For Lent, I hope to continue my daily picture taking as I did last year but I also hope to continue my practice of rest and renewal. I hope to embrace a sense of Sabbath beyond my other self-care moments. It won’t be easy (and possibly not fun) but I also find that I not only function as a better human with sleep (like us all) but that I’m more connected to my faith. It’s strange and hard to explain but true.
Whatever your spiritual practice or discipline is this Lent, I pray it challenges you and allows you to grow closer to the Holy. And if you don’t have one, embrace a spiritual practice! Perhaps it’s something small like drinking more water or walking around the block. Often times it’s the little things that connect us even more to God when we don’t realize it. And often times it’s the things we don’t think will connect us to God that really do.
May God surround you all on your Lenten journeys.
Peace, Pastor Amanda
(from the March 2017 church newsletter)