Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sacred Rhythms

As you know, I am a book hound.  (Side note: found a "new" used bookstore a couple weeks ago.  it's heaven.)

This week, I'm halfway through Sacred Rhythms as a counter to the frenzy and anxiety that accompanies this season.  I've been struck many times by the conviction that the spiritual disciplines are right and good.

I know that I tend toward busy and distracted and must-be-productive, but to be reminded that these are near universal traits of Western Christianity is comforting.  Even more so, I need to hear intentional ways to counteract these tendencies to bring me closer to the heart of God.

While reflecting on a time of retreat, Ms. Barton writes,

"All of a sudden I was awake and alert to a level of overstimulation and exhaustion that I had come to associate with normal Christian living.  As I let my emotions flow without censoring them or trying to talk myself out of them, I could feel the weight of Christian expectations that I had been carrying around unawares." 

Are you carrying Christian expectations unawares?  I do.  Usually I don't realize it until I get to the point of no return- depressed, overwhelmed and so very cranky.  As I learn and grow in Christ, I realize more and more that I need to take responsibility for myself by moderating my energy and adding in times of refreshment to my life.

"Constant noise, interruption and drivenness to be more productive cut us off from or at least interrupt the direct experience of God and other human beings, and this is more isolating than we realize....Solitude is an opportunity to interrupt this by turning off the noise and stimulation of our lives so that we can hear our loneliness and our longing calling us deeper into the only relationship that can satisfy our longing."

Solitude.  Scripture. Prayer. Honoring the Body. Self-Examination. Discernment. Sabbath.  New thoughts on traditional practices.  This has been good for me.

How will you add in some Sacred Rhythms to your life this season?