Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spiritual Disciplines

Monday night I went to a Bible study with the youth group. This Bible study is different than most. It's called Thirst and it is about spiritual disciplines. We learn different things to do, to help us actually grow closer to Christ. The room was lit by candles and the chairs where 2 feet apart so that we wouldn't sit close to anyone who would distract us. The first thing we did was solitude. There was some suggestion on what to do. The first one was just thinking of a word. One word that we would say over and over and over. It's completely normal to think of other things but when you do, you just think back to the word. Another suggestion was deep breathing. It is good to pick a phrase and on every word, either breathe in or out slowly. For example you would say while inhaling "be still and know" then exhaling "that I am God".
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
The other suggestion was relaxing your whole body. First you notice your big toe. You understand that your toe is not doing anything, it is just there. Then you do that all the way until you get to your head. By that time you are completely relaxed. The whole goal of these exercises is to forget about reality. The goal is to become so focused on the word or phrase or just being there, that the room fades away. Obviously this is very hard to do. We were given 8 minutes to do this. I thought that it went by so fast! We were challenged to do this everyday because it is so important. Just like an athlete, we have to train. We can't go to our marathon (life) and expect something to happen just being we say we are a "runner"(a Christian). Without strict training (studying God's word, listening to God, knowing that He is always God) we will fail the race that we call life. But if we train like we should, we will see that God has a place for us in the marathon.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
After we practiced solitude, we tried another discipline called simple prayer. We were reminded that God comes to us where we are in our lives. Simple prayer is just being honest with God about what is happening now. It's about praying the ordinary If I'm angry about something, I tell him by writing it in a simple prayer. If something is stressing me out, I write it down. If there is something so great, I write it. It's just writing simple things down, because God will meet us wherever we are and He cares about everything.
These are such good ways to hear God speaking to us, but these are so hard to actually do everyday. That is why they are called a discipline!
Lots of people came this week to Thirst and I can't wait for the weeks to come.

1 comment:

  1. My husband has lyme disease. Watching your video somehow gave me a more empathic understanding of what he's going through. It's beautiful. You're beautiful. Thank you.