We’ve come to the end of our journey through Sacred Rhythms, exploring the different spiritual practices that open up our hearts to God’s transforming work. I’ve so enjoyed reading through this book with all of you in this community and hearing the richness of your processing as we’ve shared in the comments.
We’ve covered a lot of disciplines over the last two months! Here’s a quick review:
Solitude: a place inside of myself where God’s Spirit and my spirit dwell together in unison
Scripture: reading for transformation and relationship
Prayer: all the ways we communicate and commune with God
Honoring the Body: paying attention to how God might be speaking through our physical bodies
Self-Examination: an awakening to the presence of God as God really is and an awakening to ourselves as we really are
Discernment: developing an intuitive sense of God’s heart and purpose in any given moment
Sabbath: ordering our lives around a rhythm of work and rest
If I had merely looked at this list at the beginning, I probably would have either been too overwhelmed by the need to fit it all in and given up, or buckled down and added it all to my to-do list. But that’s not the point, is it? We’ve circled back around to the place where we began- it all starts with longing. How do I long to meet with the Father? What do I desire for Him to do in and through me? We begin there, examining the different practices in the light of our longing.
Putting together a rule of life, a rhythm for meeting with God and the flow of our days, weeks and months, is both personal and communal. I’ve learned so much from your thoughts and insights, your practical tips for the working out of these disciplines in real life. Yet I can’t make my rule of life a cookie cutter copy of yours. I love this aspect of our walk with the Father- that He gathers us together in community but relates with us in such unique and personal ways.
As we close out our time with this book, I would love to hear what God spoke to you over the last two months. Was there a discipline that worked its way into your rhythms? Was there a new insight the Father gave you? What would you like to take away from your reading of this book for the future?
Check out Ruth Haley Barton’s podcast, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership!
She was also recently interviewed on Carey Nieuwhof’s leadership podcast about the importance of rest.
We have some fun things coming up in Book Club in the month of May! The next two weeks we will hear from two different authors- and also have an opportunity to win a copy of their latest book!
The last two weeks of May we are going to be reading a novella called The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. Here’s a quick summary of the book (from Amazon):
“When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.”