While I've been here at the onground intensive for the certificate in spiritual direction, I've come across many great ideas. To be honest, most of them are not ideas that were completely new to me. For example, I had a long conversation with a woman about not consuming news first thing in the morning. I've thought of doing that before. In fact, I came across an entry in my offline journal that talked about the possibility of doing sketching/journaling in the morning for 30 minutes before turning on the computer or the radio.
I do plan to go back to that plan. But I've also decided to adopt a simpler approach to the morning.
Yesterday at the end of the morning worship service, the director of our program suggested that we take the next year and read one book of the Bible. He talked about people who read the whole Bible in a year, but he says that we'll be much more enriched by focusing on just one book. He suggested Psalms, John, or Philippians. He suggested that we read straight through and when we get to the end, we start over.
Of all the ideas I've heard this week, this one jumped out at me, and I'm not sure why. But time after time, our teachers this week have stressed that if something leaps out at us in this way, we should pay attention.
So this morning, I turned on the computer, the way I usually do. But instead of going to the various NPR sites so that I could catch up on programming, I read the first chapter of the Gospel of John. I've decided that I'll read one chapter each morning, that I'll read through the book chapter by chapter, one chapter each morning. When I get to the end, I'll start the book again the next morning.
If I do nothing else, I'll do that.
I like this idea because of the time commitment. It will take me a very short amount of time to read one chapter, so even on mornings when I'm pressed for time, I can do that. If I want to read further, I can. If I want to read the chapter in a variety of versions, I can, if I have a computer. This morning, I began with The Message, then switched to NSRV and then New English--and just for fun, the Jubilee Bible, which I hadn't heard of before this morning. As always, I am struck by what Eugene Peterson managed to do with his paraphrase/translation that he gave us in The Message.
I love the simplicity of this plan. If the weather is bad, I can do it. It won't require supplies, like a morning discipline of sketching would. When I'm traveling, I can still read a chapter, and I won't have to bring an extra book along.
The cool thing about this practice is that it doesn't preclude other practices. I can still pray the liturgy of the hours, which I try to do each weekday morning. If I have time, I can still sketch or write in a journal or blog.
I'm not sure what to expect, but I imagine it will be like keeping a gratitude journal: at the end of a year, I'll be changed in ways I wouldn't have been without this practice.
feeling the feelings…
2 years ago