Monday, March 2, 2009

Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice: Experiments in Spiritual Transformation
An excerpt from Chapter 20:
As we become more and more enthralled by the vision of the kingdom of God, it follows that we want to be shaped by God and so live life more intentionally. We start making small plans and taking tentative steps for this change. With God's grace drawing us along, we arrange our lives differently. We give up certain activities because we want time to do thing we're reasonably sure will help reshape us. Here and there, we give up a shopping trip, doing without an item we thought we needed (frugality), because we'd rather reread a book that really spoke to us (study and meditation). We intentionally take stationery with us to the doctor's office so that as we sit in the waiting room we can jot a note to our friend's son who is in jail, instead of reading whatever magazines happen to be there (service). We make a little effort to arrive at church early to greet that stranger who's been sitting alone at the back of the sanctuary (welcoming strangers). We aren't heroic about these things, and we don't turn them into chores, but we take seriously the ideas for disciplines that come to us that are most likely the prodding of the Holy Spirit. As the means help us, our vision and intention become stronger yet.

I've learned from this study that I am drawn to certain disciplines (study, solitude, meditation), but want to continue challenging myself to grow in others (service, prayer, frugality, fasting).