Friday, July 16, 2010

spiritual practices

This week I'm thinking of the spiritual practice of walking. And it's led me to think about spiritual practices in general. My understanding is that a spiritual practice is something that we do that allows God to work in us. I usually think of a spiritual practice as something like centering prayer or praying the psalms, but reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World is encouraging me to think more broadly.
A spiritual practice is not like a diet or working out at the gym or learning Spanish, where you know that if you do x (eat less, exercise more, study 30 minutes a day) than y will result (lose weight, get in shape, know Spanish). The results of a spiritual practice are not predictable or instantaneous, they can’t be scheduled. When I do a spiritual practice, I don’t know what God will do or how God will do it or when it will happen.
Trust. Wait. Do the practice whether I like it or not, whether it is rewarding or not, whether I see “results” or not. Trust that God can and will work in me.