Recently I was given the assignment of exploring what my strongest spiritual pathways in connecting with God are and how I could engage in those pathways. A simple online survey, it opened up a wonderful time of reflection. (Find the link to it below, as well as suggested follow up questions to help you engage.) I spent several days pondering the results and thinking about the top ways that I best engage my heart in staying attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life and how I could further engage in those pathways.
I kept circling back to ways that I could do something to engage. I was brainstorming for action that I could take – volunteer more, plug in to a ministry to serve, take a class. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed at the thought of adding anything more to my schedule and life. I don’t have time to do more! I don’t have time to do what’s already in my life! How would I possibly add something more and hope to find a better, stronger connection with God? But that’s just when the Lord spoke to me: It’s not about “doing for God”…it’s about “being with God.”
Only my strongest pathway was about adding something in: caregiver. But that’s something that I already do by volunteering at Bread of Life Mission. Maybe my involvement there takes on a slightly different feel. Maybe I purposefully prepare myself each time I go to be used by God. To purpose that I’m going to do more than just serve food, but purpose to speak life and encouragement to the guests and guys in the Life Change program. To let the Lord speak through me to them, which ultimately builds up my faith that God would use me to share His love and compassion. It’s a dual benefit.
The other pathways all have to do with being with God – enthusiastic, contemplative, intellectual. The growth for each of those happens by spending time in His presence, reading the Word, thinking about Him. Sure, it involves time and effort, but it doesn’t mean I’m sitting in a room doing only that. Enthusiasm happens with people – dance rehearsal, worship, out to coffee with friends. Contemplative can happen when I’m working out at the gym, cooking, hiking, driving, reading. And Intellectual happens at church during the message, reading blogs and books, talking with mature believers.
Each of the pathways takes time and focus, but none add anything more to my schedule. There’s no reason that I need to be overwhelmed by thinking of ways that I can engage in the pathway. It will take focus and determination to stay on track; to purposefully engage and not let it slide; to seek out ways to push past my existing boundaries of understanding; to grow and mature. Ultimately the work is worth it.
Join me on the journey and explore your strongest spiritual pathways by taking the online survey here. Then go the next step: How can you best engage your heart in staying attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life? How can you further engage in those pathways?