Re-Orienting

It must be readily apparent to everyone that I have been either incredibly busy or incredibly lazy for the past month. I wrote daily through all of Lent and Holy Week, and you read and commented and encouraged and (I hope) were encouraged as we followed Jesus to the cross through the book of John. I then tried to write regularly through Eastertide, reading John’s epistles and reflecting on his pastoral instruction to his churches in light of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

And then, as April drew to a close and May swept in, I did get really busy finishing up my spring semester. I want to blame my crumbling discipline on homework, classes, work, and last-minute projects, but I was as busy throughout my semester. It was a hectic and harrying spring, but I made time in my schedule for reading God’s Word and blogging my reflections, because I wanted to. But as April ended, my desire ebbed. My regular rhythms evaporated. I filled my appetite for the Word with lesser things that were “easier” to reach (movies, mostly), just like I filled my appetite for food with “easier” meals (junk food, snacks, “comfort food”).

May was not a barren month, though. I have much to reflect on, much that I want to share (I may yet write those blogs, and back-date them. Look for them). I drafted a personal “rule of faith” using Ruth Haley Barton’s Sacred Rhythms and James Bryan Smith’s Good and Beautiful Community. But the practice of drafting a “rule of faith” (or “sacred rhythms”) of spiritual disciplines must become a spiritual discipline in itself, re-written and updated with each new season. I didn’t re-write my rule of faith each time my schedule changed, so regular rhythms disappeared.

And my schedule did change, violently! Finals week (the “old things” have passed away), a “dead” week (which was much livelier than I expected), a “cultural immersion” trip to Brazil (I will definitely retro-blog this experience for you all!), and now beginning a full-time pastoral internship at a different local church (the “new” has come). I need to re-draft my rule of faith if I am to successfully maintain any semblance of spiritual health.

This blog is a central and structural component of my rule of faith. I discovered as I wrote my “rough draft” that I am attracted to and proficient in spiritual disciplines that are inward and alone. I love to do anything that is “for” me and by myself; I do very little for or with others eagerly. Except this blog! Yes, this blog is for and about myself, but this has become more and more a space where I am vitally aware of others (you, the readers!) participating in this faith journey with me, and where I mindfully work on behalf of others (you, the readers!). Thank you for joining me.

So, for this summer, I will continue to blog. After all, we are in “Ordinary” or “Growing Time,” when we press on in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and for the glory of God our Father. Amen.

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