Attend to Your Rhythm and Diet
Anyone who has watched the BBC Drama ‘Call the Midwife’ for a series or two will have seen how the nun-midwives weave together a life of prayer and practical service through nursing. Whilst few of us might consider becoming a nun, surely we can all learn stacks about their intentional spiritual rhythms and diet. Scenes encountered out in the world are brought in prayer by the faith community, which has a deliberate underlying beat of worship that fuels their ability to nurse.
A ‘Big Thing‘ for us at the Countess Church is to take our discipleship seriously. This means that we will want to think about our own daily, weekly and longer cycles of spiritual activity. They will include church gatherings (e.g. Sunday Worship, small groups and the mission activities), personal habits of prayer and Bible reading, but also bigger cycles of going on retreats, attending conferences or festivals. It will be different for each person or family (there is no prescribed one-size fits all), and it will likely change as you grow and move through different stages of life.
Coupled with this are the relative proportions of input and activity. A healthy spiritual diet will include ‘being fed’ as well as spiritual exercise – ministering, putting yourself out there, engaging in mission. Remember that so much discipleship growth is in fact ‘on the job’ rather than ‘in the classroom’ – so be sure your diet reflects this!
As we become more attentive to the inter-play of our spiritual rhythms and diet, we may discover that it is healthy to tweak further the ratio of gathering as a faith community to engaging in outward focussed mission activity. Let us be open to the Spirit’s prompting and leading, since old or previously useful rhythms may then need to make way for new ones to enable an even healthier diet.