It’s easy to spend time, as I am right now, looking back and remembering the way things used to be, or looking ahead worrying about what might be. However, I have learned over the years that now is the most important moment. Fully living right now is the greatest spiritual practice, being present in the moment, being present with the person right in front of me.
When is it time to push, and when is it time to rest? The New Year is a time when our culture tells us to push on with those new resolutions, but winter is a time our bodies may want to slow down and, if not hibernate, at least sleep more. If you want to do your best work, try resting more. You may find you actually get more done.
Advent is traditionally the time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Christmas. For busy church leaders, I suggest choosing a practice to remind you we’re all waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Thanksgiving this year may be an opportunity to go deeper with your gratitude. Around the holiday table, or alone, you might reflect on what you’ve learned from the challenges of this time, and what the less-obvious blessings have been.
There can be a lot of “should” in the spiritual life—I should pray more, go back to in-person worship, read the Bible more. What it would be like to make pleasure rather than duty one of the motives for spiritual practice? What spiritual activities do you enjoy, and can you do more of them? Can you make a routine of them?