Preparing the Soil of Your SoulMar 03, 2021
Awhile back, during a time of journaling and prayer, I perused the notes from my first training in spiritual direction. I had packed two folders with worksheets, practices, and handwritten notes from multiple lectures.
My plan was to read through everything so I could recall and glean from the spiritual wisdom those pages contained. However, I made it through only half of one handwritten notebook. I barely scratched the surface. Reading through my notes in a soulful way turned out to be a much slower process than I had anticipated.
That time was so rich. Rather than being overwhelmed by memories of the training, I was able to soak in the goodness of God and reflect on how he had used those teachings to carry me through the next ten years.
Those lessons were like a rototiller, cultivating the soil of my soul’s garden. I had been ready to receive what was offered, and it truly prepared me for all of the work that followed over the decade since then.
I thought I would share with you a few seeds of wisdom from my notes. My hope is that one or two of these ideas will connect with you right where you are.
- Go over your life story often enough that you can find God in every part of it.
- Repetition moves prayer from head to heart. You appropriate the gifts by practice.
- Contemplation – a time when you know you are loved. I realize now that I have been trying to “do” contemplation. I see now that contemplation is a receiving, not a doing. I get to spend time knowing that I am loved.
- “Let’s remember that we are in God’s holy presence.”
- The opposite of love is control. Show me someone who has given up power and control and I’ll show you someone close to sanctity. “Unless you become like a little child, you will never enter the kingdom of God.”
- Childlike faith requires insatiable curiosity.
- “In the shelter of each other, people live.” (Irish proverb)
- You are a witness to their story. Don’t just react. The gift we give is presence.
- Love – let the other person be where they need to be.
- You are most beautiful when you are most authentically who God made you to be.
Choose one of the above thoughts or phrases to carry with you today. Then ask yourself one or more of the following questions:
- How does it make you feel?
- How does it increase your view of God?
- How does it open you to others?
Receiving, overflowing, and giving is a meaningful process for every part of life.