Today I am sitting with John in the treatment room at his doctor’s. I thought I was coping well, but as I sat knitting before his treatment started I noticed I was getting anxious–a rare thing these days; knitting so often soothes my soul. Anyway, I bundled my knitting away and pulled out the computer to write a blogpost, which is now soothing my soul. Why is that?
Perhaps it is because when I write for this blog, I am practicing the spiritual discipline of attentiveness. I’m listening to my own internal rhythms and am seeking the cause. The fear I was feeling decided to be quieted by the fact that I’m letting it be, just acknowledging it and letting God surround it. This blog has also become a public Examen, a place where I examine what is going on in my life in the light of God’s presence. Without God’s presence it is an exercise in airing my ego. With the light of Christ it becomes a tool for transformation.
That doesn’t explain why I immediately calmed down when I opened my computer to write.
I think this is how spiritual disciplines can be when practiced over time. The commitment you make to them builds over time, until you turn to it in a time of need and suddenly, without effort, you are given grace upon grace, exactly what you need in the moment you are living in. Can you count on that happening every time you are in need? I would not. How often does a master musician play a piece perfectly? Rarely, if ever, but sometimes when they sit down to practice, they soar.
Lord, thank you for the tools of the disciplines to allow us to be shaped by you. Thank you for giving me the grace to persevere in the practice of this discipline and for to give me glimpses of what it means to soar.