KICK BACK AND REFLECT
Summer is an opportunity to schedule some “what if” and “just imagine” times and have some fun in the process. Here is the setup.
Begin by taking your calendar and intentionally make a two hour “Spiritual Synergy Sabbath” appointment at least once a week. By actually placing the appointment in your calendar, it accomplishes two things.
First, it reminds you of the time. Even if a legitimate conflict arises, you can commit to identifying a substitute time before you move on.
Second, when you say, “I already have an appointment at that time,” no one is going to question the type of appointment you have. They will simply suggest an alternate possibility.
Think about the flow of your week as you identify the appointment. Probably first thing in the morning or late afternoon is least likely to be interrupted.
Find a place outside your office, maybe in either the sanctuary or chapel, where you won’t be distracted by tasks. One creative possibility might be to go to the chapel of a hospital where you can make hospital visits after your two hour sabbath is concluded.
Take a pen and a pad. You can take an iPad or laptop, but the danger is that you will be tempted to go online or otherwise get distracted. The old fashion pen and pad may be best.
When you arrive, take a few moments in prayer and read a chapter in your favorite book in the Bible. Then you are going to separate your time into two parts. The first part is your own spiritual life and the second part is the church or position to which you have been called.
Spend about five minutes evaluating what you think may be missing in your spiritual life. Then, take notes where appropriate by considering “what if,” and “imagine that” ideas for the next year. For example, you might ask yourself, “What if I read at least a chapter of good theology each week?” or “Imagine that I took seriously trying to pray for the different oppositional figures in my life and see what happens.”
Try to imagine some really far out thoughts as well as some smaller possibilities, but always with the framework of how it might affect your personal spiritual journey. “What if you refused to say any prayers for a year?” “What if you didn’t prepare any sermon material or even think about it until you got up to preach?”
Remember, you are going to repeat that process each week, and your subject matter will differ each week, but you are going to be reflecting on your spiritual life. You may want to take some brief notes, which will allow you to track your journey of reflection. After you have done this for several weeks, you may want to glance at your notes as you begin a new session.