Contemporary Christian Spirituality Final Paper Part 1

There are many aspects to a spiritual life and this class has given me a great overview of things to incorporate into my life and help me tap into the more spiritual side of life. As a Lutheran I feel like we do not talk about or utilize the Spirit. We are very head faith and led by our understanding. However, I was baptized Baptist and spent time in Pentecostal denominations, and others that are more Spirit focused. I have always wondered at the differences in faith and how each denomination seems to focus on certain aspects while we call into questions those we do not follow.

Throughout this semester we touched on things I can use daily or weekly. Discernment is a process we do in the big moments of our life, when we are searching for a new call or a big life change. As I write this paper my daughter is discerning with her pastor what she will do after she graduates with an associates degree. Discernment is for big things, but it is also for small things. This is a process that can help me understand how God is leading and calling me and will help me focus on the guiding of the Spirit and be where God needs me to be.

Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer, Active Prayer Practice, and Lectio Divina are practices I have used in the past and could be worked into my life and be a way to help my ministry and the students I serve. Centering Prayer is a wonderful practice that most shy away from because of the silence, but the silence is a place I see and hear God speaking to me. I love Taizé with the long silence and contemplation and Centering Prayer is a way for me to do this on a weekly or more often basis and spend the time with God. It seems daunting to add 30 minutes of prayer and silence to each day given the business of life, but it also seems sad that we say we can’t give God 30 minutes when we waste that much time daily. Now there needs to be a balance between rest, self-care and everything else, but much like finances, if we do not give to God first, God will get the leftovers and it will not really be something that matters. Giving God the time and committing to Centering Prayer Weekly would also help my life be richer and fuller and more spirit filled so I am really walking with God.

One of the things we learned about this year that I would like to incorporate but would struggle with is minimalism. There are so many things we have that we do not use, and it is easy to say if you haven’t used it in 6 months you should get rid of it, and yet I can give you sentimental reasons why I would keep that. I can think of at least 2 articles of clothing in my closet I haven’t worn in many years, but they are sentimental to me, as one is my dad’s jacket and the other is a sweatshirt from a group given to me when my father passed. Now I know these are things I can still keep and work on minimalism, but these concepts are the ones that make me wonder if I can get rid of things. I feel though that clearing out stuff would make more space for important things.

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