Awake to God

Daily Reading for June 17

Spiritual practices could be called life practices or humane practices, because they help us practice being alive, and humanely so. They develop not just character but also aliveness, alertness, wakefulness, and humanity. . . . Spiritual practices are about life, about training ourselves to become the kinds of people who have eyes and actually see, who have ears and actually hear, and so experience—with increasing consistency and resiliency—not just survival but Life, capitalized and modified by insufficient adjectives such as real, abundant, examined, conscious, worth living, and good.. . .

I haven’t told the whole story though. Yes, spiritual practices are ways of exercising intention regarding the kinds of people we are becoming at every turn. Yes, they are ways of habitually waking up and discovering Life. But the capitalization of Life points beyond life itself: spiritual practices are also and truly about the Spirit. They are about somehow driving with our windows wide open to God, keeping elbows in the wind and our hands surfing beside the side mirror. They’re about tuning our radios to the frequency of the Holy, turning up the volume, and then daring to sing along. They’re about staying alert so our eyes see the glory of the coming of the Lord, and our ears hear the Word, and our skin feels the warm touch and the gentle pressure of the Presence. . . . Spiritual practices are ways of becoming awake and staying awake to God.

From Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian D. McLaren (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 2008).

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