Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The Neural Highway that Flows from the Throne of God

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 off 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!"

I responded:

Here's how I've been able to maintain my commitment.

Thirty-five years ago I was tired and burned out in ministry. I read Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline. God spoke to me through this book, and I began to carve out time to get alone with God and talk with him and listen to his voice.
To my surprise and delight, God 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 and keep it burning.
I began to see God changing my heart. Most of this was slow growth. It was real, 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. I saw that this was all on the part of God, and what God was doing in 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 months passed by a "holy habit" formed in me. A new, living, neural pathway was created by God, through which his living waters of grace and love and power flowed. Decades later the waters have carved out a river whose waters are the experience of God. I have not wanted to stop meeting with him. I meet with God regularly because God has met with me.
Supposedly there 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, swimming in the neural highway that flows from the throne of God.

My new book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.