As a Pastor one of my continual challenges is making sure that while I am meeting the pastoral and administrative needs of the congregation I am also attentive to my own Spiritual needs. Occasionally I think that some people think that means that I’m not working or putting in my time. This is sad to me because I have seen the benefit of attending to the Spirit as well as the pitfalls of not caring for my own Spiritual well being and am concerned for those in the world who aren’t able to make time for the Spirit.
One commitment that I made when I started my call at Christ Presbyterian Church was that I was going to try and live a life that was worthy of some sort of imitation. One expression of this commitment has been in the fact that I will not only make time but take time to care for my personal spiritual wellness. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have with folks who are struggling with being spiritually drained who tell me they just don’t have time for it. Yet, they and I know that our daily work suffers when we are spiritually depleted.
Last year I began a new Spiritual discipline, prayer walking. This first came to be one day when I was wondering what the development across the street was all about. I went for a walk and felt the need to ask God to be an intimate partner in that walk. I asked God to open my eyes to what I needed to see in that neighborhood. Now I try and take a prayer walk on a more regular basis. The joy of this time is that it is not only good for my spirit but also my body.
Yesterday I was prayer walking in the Greenbrier Neighborhood with the simple question in my mind, “God what should I be seeing?” This is my neighborhood and I know many of the people whose homes I was passing. I was drawn to ask God to bless those I knew and those I didn’t. I was also given an insight into the nature of our neighbors. The place was a ghost town meaning that most of the people were at work. Yet there were a plethora of toys and swing sets meaning that these were most likely young families. God was reminding me that a majority of my neighbors are two income families with small children. The question that this has me pondering is how that impacts the nature of Christ Presbyterian Church’s ministry.
This walking conversation with God is more than a demographic collection tool. In fact many times it is more about the experience of God’s love personally with a lot of silence and a little speaking. Nevertheless, I know that I have received renewal of my spirit through God’s Spirit by quieting my heart and walking with God.
How do you connect with God?
What do you do to listen to the Spirit?
Do you make and take time to be with God?