Greetings! This journey of writing weekly has been a bit tougher than I thought. I’ve missed a few weeks and that bothers me. Spent some time rereading one of my first writings. Three things struck me….First my dad reminding me that practice makes perfect…. Second the definitions of practice being To do something again and again in order to get better at it, and third what discipline is…. To train or develop by instruction and exercise especially self-control and habits and ways of acting that are gotten through practice. I won’t say I’ve failed by any means, but I will say I still have a long ways to go. There may be many of you out there who are struggling also. What I say is don’t give up! Stick with me as we continue to walk our journey together.
So, let’s wrap up our short visit to meditation. The journey and experience to stop all the busyness and noise that surrounds us, to center down through quiet and start to listen. In this study I was reminded that the giants who do this well, both in bible times as well as now were not special. They were doers, they made this happen and they longed for an experience with God! As we move to our next inward discipline I want to encourage you to not leave mediation behind. This practice when done over and over becomes a refreshing part of our Christian walk every day. Remember the words of Foster in the book Celebration of Discipline “Christian meditation , very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word. It is that simple.”
As we continue the journey our next discipline is prayer. What a cool next step! Continuing with Richard Foster and his book he starts off, “Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father. Meditation introduces us to the inner life, fasting is an accompanying means, study transforms our minds, but it is the Discipline of prayer that brings us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit.”
There are a couple of phrases that jumped out at me. First, “It ushers us into”. I immediately got this vision of someone who is leading me to my seat. Prayer takes me there! Second, “perpetual communion”! I headed back to the dictionary to capture the words. Perpetual: never ending or changing; occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted. Communion: the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
WOW! Things stir in me as I read and reread this. Prayer, the thing I have been doing all my life, just went deeper. Were you moved? Doesn’t this lend itself to even greater curiosity? To be ushered into the sharing and exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings that are never ending or changing. Come on, if that does not excite you to continue learning and practicing I don’t know what will.
Then finally the third phrase,” brings us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit”. This made me wonder why he says this? Work of the human spirit?? Then this popped into my head. Prayer is so much more than just about me. It’s about communing with God! It’s about communing with his Spirit! It’s about others! It’s about plans for my life as well as the life of others! It’s about implementing change! It’s about changing our towns! It’s about changing our churches! It’s even about changing the world!
It’s what really brings all the other disciplines into play. As we slow down, study, interact, provide service…………It the glue that binds it all together. Foster points this out, “The apostle Paul gladly announces that we are “colaborers with God”; that is, we are working with God to determine the outcome of events (1 Cor. 3:9).
There you have it, the basis for our next steps! Stop, reflect and get ready to go. Our great adventure continues!