Sunday, April 7, 2013

Courageous and Joyful Practices


On a recent Saturday morning, my pastor said he’d like to see more Christians become like marathoners in their spiritual lives. A friend and neighbor began this year by running her first full marathon. 

She prepared well by following a carefully scripted training program.  Her disciplined hours of practice enabled my friend to achieve her goal.  Family, friends, and other runners also encouraged and supported her from start to finish.  If anyone wants to become a spiritual marathoner--a person who faithfully follows Christ for a lifetime—she or he can learn much from the preparations and the disciplines of marathon runners.

As Marjorie J. Thompson writes in her book, Soul Feast:  “There is a childlike simplicity to Christian spirituality.  In a certain sense we never get past practicing the basics.  This makes beginners of us all, a truth that is both humbling and freeing.  My purpose is to help people of faith understand and begin to practice some of the basic disciplines of the Christian spiritual life.  Disciplines are simply practices that train us in faithfulness.” 

Thompson explains her goal for writing Soul Feast:  “I trust that reading and reflecting . . . will draw you into a courageous and joyful exercise of those practices that may yield an experiential knowledge of God.”

How can Christians become more like marathoners in their approach to the spiritual life?  By practicing basic life habits that will sustain a growing personal relationship with God through Christ in dependence on the Holy Spirit.
 
Are you ready for a workout?  Are you a sprinter . . . or are you willing to train to become a marathoner?

Subscribe to learn more. A series of brief posts will share practical insights and motivations from Soul Feast: An invitation to the spiritual life, by Marjorie J. Thompson
(Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, © 1995, 2005).

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