Worksheets and Discipline

sunset rays MGD©Prayer. Worship. Hospitality. Meditation.

Spiritual disciplines. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spiritual disciplines. Then, in a completely not surprising move, a woman at church offered a short group study on spiritual disciplines. Really, the Spirit has tossed all subtlety out the window lately when it comes to speaking with me. Like I’m three and he has to speak in short, simple sentences with big gestures. And if you think I’m complaining, let me assure you I am not. I love it. I’m not proud, and I’d rather be a three year-old who hears than a sophisticated adult living clueless.

Anyway, the spiritual discipline study started with a worksheet to try to discover where my heart is right now, where I want to meet God, what the Spirit might be saying to me. I love worksheets. I sat down with it and realized right away that at the moment I’m living in a bit of a spiritual fervor. I want to try ALL of them. Now. Today. Cancel all my prior engagements, like making dinner and cleaning the bathroom and preparing for teaching tomorrow, so I can delve into God’s Word, into his heart, learn about my heart, hear from him, bask in him…

This is a change. This is a huge change. I know it’s huge enough that it can’t last, not the way it is now. Life isn’t a constant spiritual high. But right now, suddenly feeling God in ways I never have before, suddenly able to ignore the voices in my head that try to convince me I’m not good enough, not really his daughter, I feel so free to get close to God. It doesn’t feel like a burden. It doesn’t feel like I’m giving up anything to spend time with Him. The Spirit, who has been peripheral in my life at best and ignored for the most part–I want to know him. I want to listen to Him. I want more of Him.

And he seems pretty happy about that. I’m seeing connections in my Bible reading. I’m also connecting with a few people with my writing and in friendships, so it’s both inward and outward. It’s exciting.

However, I can’t do it all right away. For now, I have to make some choices. Because I have spent a lot of years lying to myself about who I am and whether God loves that person, I’m leaning toward spiritual disciplines like prayer, silence, meditation. I want to know what Paul hoped for me, that I would see the depth and height of Jesus’ love for me. I think that’s my starting point. Once I’ve got some background there, once that is settled in my head with Scripture backing and prayer time, then I’ll be ready for other things. More outward things.

Because, and I’ve said this before, I fear turning so far inward that I’m useless to God. I’m human. I am more than happy to be the center of my own universe. For now, I need to settle in God’s arms a little bit and learn from him. I need to find a place where I am hearing the Spirit on a regular basis, well beyond the spiritual high of this moment. And then it’s time to add things that reach those around me. Hospitality. Mentoring. Conversations with people about God’s love and his son. All those can happen because I am safe here in God’s love.

Baby steps. For now, I’ve got my spiritual discipline worksheet in hand, and I’m looking for ways God might engage with me to show me his heart and his love. Whatever he has planned for me, I’m pretty sure knowing his love will be the foundation, and I’m excited to sink further and further into it. Come, Spirit, come.

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