“Spiritual exercises attune us to God’s presence, acting as sticky note reminders that God is with us all the time. . . . The practices tune us into the invisible waves of God’s loving presence. . . . The exercises don’t offer merely a fleeting high. They foster the deep joy of a steady, solid relationship of love.”- Ken Shigematsu
In Chapter 3 (“Spiritual Practices”) of Survival Guide for the Soul, Ken Shigematsu observes that it’s easy to forget God. Especially if we’re doers. Because we grow accustomed to living from task to task. And we crave the dopamine hit that comes from the next big thing. Therefore, a rhythm of spiritual exercises helps us remember we belong to God and are His beloved.
Thus, Ken underscores, through training our hearts we learn to live with an ongoing awareness that God loves us. As a result, it’s quite practical to live daily with a real relational presence in our life. And that presence profoundly affects the way we travel through the world. Ken explains:
“Spiritual practices train our heart to grow continually conscious of the core truth that we are loved by God. . . . Because of our spiritual amnesia we need to awaken to God’s love every day and be born again and again and again. As we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit through the spiritual disciplines, Christ’s love is birthed and rebirthed in us (emphasis Ken’s).”
Hence, Ken offers a brief introduction to two spiritual habits. They’re especially relevant to people who define themselves by what they do.
- Silent Meditation. Employ practices that help you attend to God’s presence. For example, holding a phrase or single word from Scripture helps focus your distracted thoughts about God. That primes you to notice God’s loving presence throughout the day.
- Sabbath Keeping. Keeping the Sabbath fosters greater awareness of God’s love for you. Because it serves as a reminder that your value doesn’t proceed from your production. Rather, your perfect Father in heaven loves you.
Today’s question: What spiritual exercises attune you to God’s presence? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Grain of our character – embrace spiritual practices”