Last week I attended the New England Conference Pastor's Winter Gathering. It seemed to come quickly on the heels of Christmas and I was feeling a little stressed about going. I am so glad I went! The topic was "The Art of Spiritual Growth." We had several speakers who talked about spiritual growth from different perspectives: music, art, spiritual disciplines, self care, etc. The whole event was enlightening and the opportunity to fellowship with colleagues was renewing. There were two gems in particular that I took away from the event that touched me personally at this point on my journey:
1. Disciplines are things that we do for ourselves. Lately I've embarked on some new spiritual disciplines. For the most part they have been fruitful. However, during those times that I've 'slipped' I've felt guilty about it. This reminder helped me to know that guilt is so not the point. My disciplines are things I've decided to do to help me draw closer to God. There are going to be times when I slip and forget and that's okay. Tomorrow is a new day with a new opportunity to do something beneficial for myself.
2. The second gem is similar. One of the workshop presenters is a colleague that I deeply respect and consider to be a way more spiritual person than I am. During his workshop he presented his daily discipline and made it clear that he practices that particular discipline five days a week. The other two days he does another discipline ~ or none at all. I've bee struggling with those two days and how to live out my spiritual disciplines on the weekends (Friday and Saturday for me). If he can give himself a break two days a week I think I can too!