Today John Ortberg continues Chapter 11 of Soul Keeping with the second movement in the Cycle of Grace, Sustenance– or sustaining grace.
2. Sustenance. Pastor Ortberg states that Jesus engaged in specific practices that enabled Him to keep replenishing His spirit: prayer, maintaining a circle of close friends (the twelve disciples), regular corporate worship at synagogue, meditating on Scripture, enjoying God’s creation, taking long walks, and welcoming little children.
We also need to engage in practices that enable us to connect to God’s grace, energy, and joy. John offers this test of a sustaining spiritual practice- “Does it fill you with grace for life?” We must consider and define our current sustaining practices as well as assess our willingness to explore new avenues.
Sustaining spiritual practices are important because the soul craves rest. As Pastor Ortberg puts it, “The soul was made to rest in God the way a tree rests in soil.” He cites a story shared by American devotional writer Lettie Cowman.
A traveler visiting Africa hired a group of carriers and guides to assist her on her journey. Because she wanted her journey to be a swift one, she was extremely pleased with how many miles were covered the first day. The next day, however, the tribesmen remained seated, refusing to move. When asked, the leader said the first day they’d traveled too far too fast. Now they were waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.
Today’s question: What sustaining grace practices have helped your soul catch up to your body? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation- “Don’t strike out!”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Indicators of soul-fatigue”