What kind of spiritual discipline is rest?
What exhausts you? introduced an exploration of the spiritual discipline of rest, one which I find particularly pertinent not only to my life, but also to the lives of those whom I interact with on campus — in campus ministry and as a seminary student. As you may remember, the inspiration for the first post was a discussion I facilitated for a mix graduate students and medical students who are part of the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine. In preparation for the gathering, I drew from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun‘s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us (InterVarsity Press, 2005). Let’s take a look at an excerpt from Calhoun‘s Introduction, subtitled Discovering Your Desire, to learn how she approaches the spiritual disciplines.
Spiritual disciplines give the Holy Spirit space to brood over our souls. Just as the Spirit hovered over the face of the deep at the dawn of creation, so he hovers over us today, birthing the ever-fresh Christ-life within. The Christ-in-me identity is not bound to a generic one-size-fits-all program for union with God. The Holy Spirit knows the spiritual practices, relationships and experiences that best suit our unique communion with God. He knows how to help us move into the “unforced rhythms of grace” that Jesus offers to teach us (19). . . .
Disciplines are intentional ways we open space in our lives for the worship of God. They are not harsh but grace-filled ways of responding to the presence of Christ with our bodies. Worship happens in our bodies, not just our heads. Paul writes in Romans 12:1, “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this your spiritual act of worship.” Continue Reading…