I have had two  particular conversations over the years with people around spirituality. The first conversation goes something like this, “I really want to connect with God but I just don't know how. It's not that I don't believe there is a God but I just don't know how to make contact. I am unsure how this God out there can become a God in here”. The other conversation that I have had is with those who are more conscious of their spiritual quest and yet desire greater depth in it. These people often believe this depth they desire  will be obtained by either 1) doing more spiritual practices (meditation, prayer, scripture reading etc) or by doing their current practices for longer (praying for 30 min instead of 15 etc). This belief, that deeper spirituality means more or longer practices, often leaves people feeling overburdened and often doesn't deepen anything, except perhaps guilt and frustration. So we have these two groups of people 1) those who are aware of God but are uncertain how to actually connect with God and 2) those who desire to connect more deeply with God and feel the way to do this is to add more to their already full spiritual-practice 'to do' list. Really the distinction between these two groups of people is artificial. They are the same person united in their desire for deeper spirituality and greater awareness of God in the ebb and flow of their life. Is there perhaps some light we can shed on this desire for spirituality?

 

I recently came across something so simple and yet profound in a great book called Finding Our Way AgainChapter 19 of the book is entitled 'Faithing our Practices'. The Author recounts a story of one of his friends sharing with him about a nun by the name of Dr Elizabeth Julian. She speaks, not  not about Practicing our Faith but rather Faithing our PracticesFaithing our practices is the process of looking at the simple things in our life that are enjoyable, meaningful or habitual to us and asking 'How can they or how are they already a part of the deepening of my spirituality' or ' How can these things already happening in my life be ways of helping me to become more aware of Gods work within our world and my self?' Spirituality is not so much about doing certain kinds of  practices but rather about seeing that which you are already doing in a new way





Here's an example from my life. I am a great fan of herbal tea. I like to drink it as often as possible. I particularly like to drink it in the morning or just before going to bed. I like the way the warmth flows into my body. I like the sensation of knowing that something good and healthy and cleansing is being put into my body. Me drinking tea is part of a larger desire in my life for health. Health not only for my body but also for my mind and soul. I find myself praying that in the same way that the health of the tea enters my self, that God's health, wholeness and restoration would enter my self. I also pray that this health would enter the world around me and beyond me. Sometimes I am more conscious of these desires and prayers while drinking my tea than others. Whatever my level of consciousness, I have definitely come to identify my drinking of herbal tea as an expression of my desire for God's health and wholeness to flow into my being and into our world. I did not start to practice something new in my life but rather I have begun to see something very simple, habitual and meaningful in my life in a new way.   



                                 

So the question is 'what are your simple enjoyable and meaningful practice that you could think about faithing?' What about your creativity (art or cooking or decorating) or your exercise or gym or sport? What about parties and dancing, drinks at the pub or a night out with friends? What about greeting the shop attendant or answering e-mails or driving in traffic or going on a hike? What about your grinding, brewing and drinking of early morning coffee? The faithing of practice is only limited  but our eyes to see the beauty and work of God in all of life both profound and simple. 


In this series of blog posts I will be posting a few prayers around everyday, simple, habitual practices in my life that I have become conscious of as forming and shaping me. This will obviously include a Prayer for (herbal tea) health. Would love to hear about your journey of faithing your practices...