This New Year I am attempting to dive deeper into the life and rhythms of a contemplative. I am confronted with my inability to live my commitment to Jesus as the priority in which all else of my life is built around. I am tired of making space to nurture my spiritual self only when family, work, hobbies, etc allow. Instead I want to more deeply explore spiritual rhythms at the core of my life. Here’s how I am attempting this:
The Daily Offices – a daily rhythm of 3 spaces (morning, midday, & evening) carved out and reserved to “be” with God. In my rhythms, morning prayer resembles the devotional time of my evangelical tradition, midday prayer is shorter and heavily liturgical, and evening prayer is flexible with times spent in prayer as a family, and others in solitude.
Sabbath-keeping – a weekly rhythm of rest.Â I am trying to explore what rest looks like (and doesn’t look like for me) and then to create a 24hr space in which to dwell in that rest.Â My hope, prayer, and intent is that these times give me space for contemplation and appreciation to accompany the rest. What I don’t want in this rhythm is a pharasaical-sort of discipline, but intead a relaxed committment to honestly pursue the activites that give me rest spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally.
A Rule of Life – a holistic rhythm of living in which I attempt to live in balance of the committments I’ve made.Â In my case, these commitments are to the ways of Jesus, the ways of community, the ways of Justice, and the ways of creativity.Â At times this means giving intention to the commitments in which I’ve neglected and other times it means creatively rethinking my actions and words to better reflect these core committments of my life.
As I explore these individually and communally (with the communitasPHX folks), I am convinced that this sort of rhythmic intention of spirituality is vital.Â It gives true expression to our words and hopes.Â It provides a discipline to our commitments.Â And it provides us ways to pursue Jesus in the demands and chaos of everyday American life.Â I’m working on establishing these ways as a part of “a symbolic order” in which people from distant geographies can experiment and explore with the way of life together.Â More on this to come.