I mused here a little about how I need to stay connected to God and what happens when I don't. After a little pondering I have come up with a list of habits (I don't want to use the word discipline for some reason!) that help me stay 'plugged in'. They are not perfect nor do they work perfectly. They are a fairly fluid mix and my ability to engage God through them varies drastically. But for me, I have found that when I follow through with these habits....I better stay in the flow of listening for, resting in, and following God's spirit. Here are a couple to start with:
Music - both playing and listening. I am a drummer and a beginning guitar player. My first desire in college was to be a jazz drummer. I have a love of music that I can't truly express. But music speaks to me....not just lyrics but the creation of music - all kinds of sounds. When I listen, whether it be secular or not, I can often be moved into the presence of God. Music calms my soul, moves my spirit, and can change my emotions. On the playing side - I worship God thru playing - especially the drums. Sounds crazy....how impacting a piece of metal or a synthetic drum head can be worship....but it moves me to a place that I connect with God and can "rest" in His presence.
Running - Running for me is my "quiet" time. It allows me to disengage from the "to do" list and focus. I usually start my runs saying, "Dear Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I'll repeat that over and over and just let it sink in until it is sort of running in the background. Then I'll start to pray....and see what bubbles up. So many times a situation, a specific verse, a small phrase will pop up and I'll play with that for quite a while. The hard part is remembering after the run what I was pondering....so I try to journal a little right afterwards and come back later to flesh out those nudgings. I have found that I can't run while listening to music (funny that I can't combine the running with music!) because I focus too much on the music and not on listening. Interesting....
So those are the first two I'll share.....more later....gotta go play the guitar and go for a run!