I want to write again about building your trellis and crafting an integrated life – a life where your spiritual journey and “everything else” become more fluid and spacious. Once again we come up against time, and then not only our daily and weekly rhythms, but the monthly and yearly ones as well.
I came across this while reading Soul Custody by Stephen Smith – this idea of “time in the motherhouse” which was an essential rhythm in the life of Mother Teresa and her order which worked with dying, socially rejected, and marginalized people.
The Sisters shall spend one day in every week, one week in every month, one month in every year; one year in every six years in the motherhouse, wherein contemplation, and penance together with solitude she can gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the service of the poor. When these Sisters are at home, the others will take their place in the Mission field. Mother Teresa writing in Come Be My Light
To be honest, I found this compelling – I’ve found myself musing on it ever since I read it, and am actually actively working to see how to weave such rhythms into our work with children and families. At first glance it seems daunting, and of course most of us will never take a full year in six, but I am wondering what would happen if we were more intentional about this…..
Then, in a different book, a new edition of The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, I came across this list written by Robert Banks in a different book entitled Redeeming the Routines.
He’s writing about the enormous gap between belief and everyday life and points out that this gap shows up in ten worrying ways.
1. Few of us apply or know how to apply our belief to our work, or lack of work.
2. We only make minimal connections between our faith and our spare time activities.
3. We have little sense of a Christian approach to regular activities like domestic chores.
4. Our everyday attitudes are partly shaped by the dominant values of our society.
5. Many of our spiritual difficulties stem from the daily pressure we experience ( lack of time, exhaustion, family pressures, etcetera ).
6. Our everyday concerns receive little attention in the church.
7. Only occasionally do professional theologians address routine activities.
8. When addressed, everyday issues tend to be approached too theoretically.
9. Only a minority of Christians read religious books or attend theological courses.
10. Most churchgoers reject the idea of a gap between their beliefs and their ways of life.
This is what I’m thinking about this week. Crafting a life – and within that life, a robust soul that sees everything connected. A life that is spacious and free.
Companions, as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us…..Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! 2 Corinthians 6, The Message
So a new week and a new month call to us! Vamos.
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