Tuesday, November 25, 2008


"We are always practicing something. The question is: What are we practicing? At some point, what we've been practicing becomes habitual, the way we show up in the world" (Susan Scott).

"Spiritual disciplines" is a term for any kind of "practicing" in which we intentionally engage with the purpose of becoming more like what God calls us to be. Reading the Bible can be a spiritual discipline, to the extent that we allow it to permeate our souls and not just our brains. Fasting can be a spiritual discipline, to the extent that we allow it to direct our attention often to God. Prayer is another of the "biggies" important to those who claim religious faith. When we engage in genuine, communicative relationship with God, it changes our world both internally and beyond.

Prayer, scripture and fasting are three particularly well-known disciplines, but are certainly not the only ones. When we choose to celebrate good things and give thanks for blessings, it moves us toward joyfulness. When we choose to honor a day of rest each week, caring for the health of our souls, our bodies, and our relationships, it brings restoration. When we laugh and cry together as we tell wonderful stories about loved ones, we remember to cherish others as God intends. When we forgive those who have offended us, we are released from chains of bitterness and are able to more fully experience God's grace, and to extend grace to others. When we savor both the physical nourishment and the tasty pleasure of an excellent meal, we learn to more fully appreciate God's grace-filled provision.

What are you practicing today: Pessimism or joy? Resentment or appreciation? Anxiety or peace? Hate or love? Irritability or patience? Laziness or diligence?

And how are you choosing to practicing it?

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