|Lake Erie shoreline|
"One of my former seminary students wrote me and said: "You may not remember me but I took your spiritual formation and I fell of the wagon in my daily prayer and meditation! Are there any words of wisdom on how you have been able to maintain your daily commitment!"
Here's how I think I've been able to maintain my commitment.
- 35 years ago I was feeling tired and burned out in ministry. I read Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline. I felt moved and compelled to carve out time to get alone with God and talk with Him and listen.
- To my surprise and delight, God actually met me! This made me want to meet alone with God more.
- A desire, like a fire, was kindled in my heart. I chose to tend it, to keep it burning.
- I began to see God changing my heart. Most of this was slow growth; it was real and enduring progress in the spiritual life. I began keeping a journal as a record of all that God was doing within me.
- My ministry, or rather God's ministry through me, began to look and feel different. I liked the feeling. I liked what I saw happening. And, I saw that this was all on the part of God, and what God was doing within me. It was then and remains now easy for me to give glory and credit to God for any fruit produced in and through me.
- As the days and weeks and months passed by a "holy habit" was forming in me. A new, living, fresh neural pathway was created by God, through which his living waters of grace and love and power were flowing. I did not, and have since not, wanted to stop meeting with God to experience him. I meet with God regularly because God has met with me.
- There supposedly was a sign on the Alaskan highway where the pavement turned to dirt. It read: "Choose your rut carefully. You’ll be in it for the next hundred miles." I have chosen a good rut. I live in the groove, I swim in the neural highway, that river that flows from the throne of God.