Rummaging for God in your day

Rummaging for God in your day

Have you ever tried rummaging through your day to find something that might have gone unnoticed or got lost among all the ‘stuff’…something like God? Try the Daily Examen prayer from St Ignatious. Dennis Hamm calls this practice “rummaging for God.” He likens it to “going through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around, looking for something that you are sure must be there.” That’s an accurate description of what it’s like to pray the Daily Examen. We look back on the previous day, rummaging through the “stuff,”and finding God in it. We just need an inkling that we will find God there to begin. So why not have a go? This is a simple version of the five-step Daily Examen . Ask God to be present with you and help you review your day.  Look back with gratitude. Name things you are grateful for. Ask yourself Where did I see God in my day? Where was I living in my best, true self? Did I miss opportunities? Did I get in the way of having a good day? Admit it honesty. Look forward. What gift do you need from God to have a day you can really live well tomorrow? (more patience/ better attention / kindness…)...
Adventures in Solitude

Adventures in Solitude

Encouraged by Jonny’s insights, my Lent commitment is to spend 3 hours in solitude, reflecting and praying, each week. How hard can that be? Extremely hard as it turns out. Challenge one: find 3 hours to escape…Much harder than you imagine. Eugene Peterson’s book The Contemplative Pastor makes this shocking claim that ‘a busy minister is a lazy minister’. So, I am lazy, because I keep finding my scheduled time for solitude squeezed out by things that seem more urgent, or people I cannot let down. Is this a problem of priorities? It’s a discipline to find time. But I persist. It’s also much more pleasurable than I think. Where could I comfortably spend 3 hours in solitude? Where there’s no mobile phone contact? Where I might be genuinely relaxed…and this is how I get to spend 3 hours every Lenten week… in the spa! Don’t knock it! An hour of intentional physical relaxation ends up with 2 beautiful hours on a warm day bed in a dark room, with a Bible, notebook and time…precious time. Explaining spa as a spiritual discipline takes some doing. We imagine time with God as something uncomfortable, strained and formalised. Which is exactly why we need Lent? To return to God. The true God. The God whose presence is like water to a thirsty soul…like rest for the anxious, distracted, weary...
Adventures in Communal Living

Adventures in Communal Living

What would make a gifted, well-connected 29 year old choose to move into a Franciscan Friary and live in community with formerly homeless people? My friend Jonny has. Why? The short answer is that he heard a diagnosis to his generation’s discontent and it struck home – to the extent that he moved into a community born out of need, not choice, as an experiment in intentional community. Jonny explained what drove him to do this. The idea began in a lecture ‘Why do people in their 20’s leave the church?’ Soul Survivor’s Mike Pilavachi explains how a culture of consumerism, individualism and entitlement is eating into the psyche of 20-somethings. [1] The freedom of individualism, expressed through independent living with no definitive commitment to people or place is a phony freedom. We believe it’s our right to have whatever we want, whenever we want, yet we find ourselves crippled by the fear of committing to the ‘wrong’ person/place/career. In Postmodernity and Its Discontents, Zygmunt Bauman writes how “modern individuals are sentenced to a lifetime of choosing. And the art of choosing is mostly about avoiding one danger: that of missing an opportunity.” People of faith are not immune. Not even ministers. Henri Nouwen’s In the name of Jesus, describes ‘The Compulsive Minister’. In a society described as a ‘shipwreck’, “a dangerous network of domination and manipulation in which we can easily get entangled and lose our soul” [2]. Nouwen points to how horrendously secular our Christian lives can become, living our lives in such a “distracted way that we do not even take the time and rest to...