Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days: A Spiritual Journey

"The more we reflect on this, the clearer it becomes that we cannot really understand God's providential work in us.  In the final analysis, all we have are signs that lead us to suspect something unspeakably great.  As it is written 'What no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him'" (1 Cor. 2:9).  Though we see as through a dark glass, we do see something.  We have the freedom and responsibility to look at our lives with the eyes of faith and a heart of trust, believing that God cares and is active in our lives."
-Henri Nouwen, "Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life."

This is tough to admit, but lately I'd been feeling pretty dry in my spiritual life.  God seemed distant and the church seemed irrelevant.  I just wasn't sure what He was doing in my life and sometimes in the lives of those around me.  At points, He seemed almost cruel.

 I could blame His distance on a number of things.  I stopped journaling.  I stopped praying.  I read the Bible every morning, but it was usually just a short devotional on my phone, and it was too easy to start surfing Facebook or roll over and go back to sleep after my "required reading."

God just wasn't there.  To be honest, I didn't really want Him to be there.  I didn't like what I thought He was doing, the doors He was closing.  I knew He was still there and He was still working, but I just wanted Him to leave me alone.

Then I remembered something someone has told me numerous times-"God is a gentleman He won't interfere in your life until you invite Him in."

Honestly, that thought was scary.  Yet, I didn't like the way my life was going, how I was feeling: distant, aimlessly drifting, coasting through it all.

So I decided to return to certain practices that I knew helped my faith grow while I was in college.  I leave my phone downstairs when I go to bed now.  I started reading a "real", book version of the Bible in the mornings.

And yet the biggest change has been reading something by Henri Nouwen every night before I go to bed.  Being a Catholic priest, I don't always agree with his theology, but the man wrote some beautiful things about being God's beloved and how we can walk that out in our lives.

So here I am.  I want to share some of this journey back into relationship with God with you.  That's why for the next 31 days I want to post something on this blog about what I've been reading, praying, thinking and feeling.  It may be a reflection from the morning's lectio divina I'm trying out, it may be a quote that resonated with me from Nouwen's books, it may be a simple Scripture.  I want to share it all with the hope of processing them more deeply for myself, to encourage others, and to know I'm not the only one who has struggled in my spiritual life in this way.

I hope you'll join me.

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