Pace – Intentional Time With God

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In a recent conversation with a CRM staff person, we delved into the issue of what intentional time with God is all about. As I reflected on the discussion, and on my own experience over the years, I realized there were three factors that have always played into how my relationship with Jesus is pursued when it means specific, concentrated time with him. I realized there are usually three basic components, the first of which is:

Pace – This concerns the rhythm of the relationship. How often do we meet? What’s the cycles and sense of continuity to my times with God? What’s the pace?

I am convinced there is tremendous diversity and no one approach fits all. This is all influenced by life stage, temperament and even vocation.

Many of us have grown up with idealization that such intentional time is a must every day. But that may not be the rhythm that suits me best. For some—such as those in monastic communities—3-5 times a day for prayers and meditation is the norm. For others, three set-aside times with God a week may be what is sustainable and sustaining. A mother with young children may be in a totally different place where emotional and spiritual survival is at stake and how God feeds her soul may be completely different in such a season.

Like all liturgical practice, regularity can bring confidence and surety. It is like the regular exercise of a muscle. However, structure can be deadening and can suck the life right out of the most passionate pursuit of God. While discipline is certainly admirable regardless of the pace, structure without grace can be the death of real spiritual vitality.

Tomorrow’s post will deal with the 2nd factor: Place.

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