Saturday, January 31, 2009

Groaning for grace

Lately, I've been trying to get back to some good spiritual habits, like writing down the five things I'm grateful for each day before I go to bed and 10 minutes of prayer at Sacred Space. I've also tried to begin reading something spiritual every morning: I used to read a Bible reflection from this Men's Devotional Bible I had, but I finished that a long while back.
I'm now reading passages from Shane Claiborne's upcoming book Becoming the Answer To Our Prayers, a look at how we pray and how we can turn our prayer life into fuel for engagement in the world. This morning, I read this passage that really hit me:
"Christianity can be built around isolating ourselves from evildoers and sinners, creating a community of religious super-piety. It can also be built around joining with the evildoers and broken sinners of our world crying out to God, groaning for grace. That's the kind of Christianity we have fallen in love with."
Groaning for grace. Absolutely. I am longing for it. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, I am yearning for a faith community that truly affirms the presence of God in my daily affairs, despite all the ambitions and urgencies that drown his voice out.
I've been doing yoga, and it's been great for becoming more meditative. However, nowhere in the practice has there been talk about gratitude to God or to a higher power. It's all been about us, and our personal energy. I want more.
I want to re-enter a spiritual community that builds me up. The group I meet with every other week is a great respite from the rest of life, but I need something with more constancy as well.
I once started writing a song called "It's hard to see the face of God in New York City." The chorus ended with the line, "But to this very mission, I am sworn." That was back when I was working for Rick Warren's magazine and struggling with his brand of Christianity. I need to remember how much I yearn for God: when I lived in DC, I used to meditate on the phrase "God is in me and around me." And often I believed it. I'd like to believe it again.
God is in me and around me, in me and around me...

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