Sunday, October 12, 2014

Is This What I Lack?

There is an ancient practice in Christendom that is called Lectio Divina. Wikipedia gives a little history and overview of the practice. I am new to this but it is a good way to spend time communing with God through His word and prayer. Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts has provided a free pdf on How to Practice Lectio Divina.The following passage was suggested by her for use during the month of October:

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. 
Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you 
will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When he heard this, he became very sad, because 
he was very wealthy. (Luke 18:22,23NIV)

The words "one thing" and "come, follow me" stood out as I contemplated this passage and I asked myself the following questions:

Am I holding one thing back?  
What do I need to let go in order to follow Him fully?
Am I too important to me?

Then the thought came to me that one thing I needed to do was to take better care of myself.

Wait a minute...

Is this what I lack?  Do I need to take better care of me? 

I was really surprised at the answer that came. I realized that I did need to take better care of myself; not because I am more important than others but because I have been bought with the blood of Jesus and my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. As I thought more on this I came up with some practical things I could do to better care for myself.

1. Take time to plan and prepare food that will make me healthier, rather than just grab what is handy.
2. Get regular exercise to help tone and strengthen my body.
3. Take time to rest and have lots of time in the fresh air and sunshine.
4. Spend more time meditating on Scripture.
5. Spend less time on facebook.
6. Have set times for being online.
7. Have set times for prayer each day. 

Of course, I can pray anytime, but this would give me break times to look forward to each day to pray for whatever God puts on my heart. My daughter, Jamie, has written a book available for Amazon Kindle with poems and prayers to use throughout the day called Book of Hours: In Shadow and Sun. I would also like to take one day a week for extended time in prayer for my family and friends.

In the Luke passage above, Jesus told the rich young man to sell all that he had, give to the poor and then follow Him. I don't believe I am called to sell all that I own, but I do need to be aware of the needs of others and be ready to help in whatever way I can with what I have been given. I must make sure my possessions do not become so important to me that I am not willing to share. 

Knowing who I am in Christ, and that His Spirit lives within me puts a whole new light on the reasons why I should eat healthy food, exercise, meditate on Scripture, get rid of clutter, have set times of prayer each day, and give to others as I am able. I knew all those things were important, but I lacked the proper motivation. My reasons were something like "because I need to" or "it's the right thing to do."

Instead, I need to do what I can to provide the nourishment I need - body, soul, and spirit – in order to better demonstrate Christ to others. I need to rid myself of every kind of weight that keeps me from fulfilling my purpose. My purpose also includes pursuing my dreams, because I believe God gave them to me to develop and use to encourage others.

What about you? Are you giving yourself the care you need physically, spiritually, emotionally? 

It's so easy to get overwhelmed with all the things we are "supposed" to do that we forget to care for ourselves properly. We all need times of rest and recreation, of just relaxing with a cuppa, or spending time with friends and extended family. It's okay not to be busy all the time.

(photo by Gayl Wright)
I am linking up with Lisha Epperson and the #GiveMeGrace series she hosts each Sunday on her blog.

Find the rest of the #31Days of Love, Faith and Creativity HERE.

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