From Vera Snow, BMPC Member
The spiritual direction group at BMPC has been practicing the discipline of paying attention and let’s just say, the Spirit has been very busy at Bryn Mawr Church! The Spirit has done some amazing things both individually and collectively within this group. Rarely do we leave our time together without being touched or changed in some way. This is a committed, respectful group of individuals who are ready and willing to pay attention to what God is already doing in their lives and integrating what they learn into their everyday lives.
We meet once per month, in the evening, for two hours. We begin with prayer and a “check-in” followed by a guided meditation. We then share what we notice during the meditation and respond to God’s invitation. Each one of us usually leaves with a next step to try before the next session. Right now, we are being guided to seek more deeply the meaning of having a human body.
One of the questions we have been discerning together, as a group, entails the image of a house. We ask each other, what kind of house are you? Are you a big, fancy, shiny new construction on the outside but lacking a solid foundation? Or perhaps, you describe yourself as a house in desperate need of a spring cleaning or some shiny new windows to invite new insights and perspectives?
Whatever the case, God continues to shape and mold each one of us in this group in a way we could never have imagined on our own. And hopefully, our pilgrimage is bringing us closer and closer to the cross, working with God in tandem rather than isolated and alone.
So why all this naval gazing when there are so many fires in the world to put out? Because we are human, that’s why! Just like person(ality) and sexu(ality) make us unique, so does our spiritu(ality). How God connects to one person may be very different from how God connects to another person, making it quite personal. Therefore, one kind of spirituality fits all does not an effective individual or firefighter, for that matter, make. If putting out fires is important to you (and boy are there a lot of fires in our world today), how do you know where to start? Perhaps, you don’t start at all because it’s too overwhelming or you’re immobilized with anxiety or guilt for not trying? Or maybe, you start doing something about a particular fire but lose steam because you aren’t making any measurable progress?
This is where spirituality may be of help because it’s about paying attention to your personal road map instead of the panic that surrounds you. So much to do, so little time, not the most effective way to live! It’s about listening to your unique experience of life and noticing God’s presence within that context. Besides, what do you have to lose? Those fires aren’t going anywhere!
There’s a saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen,” so what if you allowed God to be the master chef and yourself the sous chef? Perhaps life would flow more smoothly that way? With all those fires out there, wouldn’t it be nice to take some time to discern what your actual role may be instead of anxiously grabbing for the nearest fire extinguisher? Something for you to ponder!