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“Deeply Leaning into God”


 One of the spiritual disciplines I’m recommending for Lent is the ancient practice of “the Examen.” Adele Calhoun provides a helpful summary of this practice in her Spiritual Disciplines Handbook:

 

The examen provides a way of noticing where God shows up in our day. It is a practice that attends to what we might otherwise miss in the press of duties and busyness. The questions of the examen open our attention to how God's internal movement is present in our external comings and goings. They lead us to listen deeply to the data of our lives. These questions help us pay attention to our mental state, our body responses and our emotional baggage. Our insomnia, nervous stomach, difficult interaction and headache can all take their place as a possible way of more deeply leaning into God. The examen helps us recognize the things that bring us death and life. Once these things are known, they become part of our ongoing interaction with God in prayer.

 

This is a very practical way of growing in Paul’s direction to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

 

I encourage you to try the examen a few times this Lent. One form of the examen is included in our Lenten Guide, available on our website. You can also google the practice to find a number of other variations, including apps for your phone.

 

May you also discover how even headaches and heartaches can “take their place as a possible way of more deeply leaning into God.”

 

Your Pastor in Christ,


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