Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Musings on the Creator in Me

Breakfast -- Finding Ways to Break {the Spiritual} Fast

The theme this week at HSB is "School Breakfast Week."  Now, I suppose there are a number of ways to explore that . . . but I find myself drawn to taking a spiritual slant. I fast too long and too often when it comes to my spiritual breakfast; I go hungry because I'm having a hard time finding creative ways to feed my soul with the Bread of Life, the Word of God.

You see, it doesn't seem to matter how early I rise with the intent of reading my bible and writing in my prayer and poetry journal -- a little person invariably rises early, too, and the peace is penetrated by childish chatter that resembles "Chinese water torture." It drills a hole in my brain. They try to be quiet -- they really do. But I'm a slow reader and an even slower writer, so their patience wears thin -- and understandably so -- as does mine.

So, my challenge is to find creative ways to fan the flame of the Spirit within me, to add fuel to the fire. It's not that I think it's something I should do to be a "good Christian." After all, I have the Creator in me to meet my every need, whether I'm able to read my bible daily or not. But it's something I genuinely long to do. That hasn't always been the case -- but these days, these days when I sometimes struggle to "take the bread of pain as Grace," (Ann Voskamp) I find myself craving the sustenance of Scripture.

What are some ways, then, that {you and} I can breakfast on the Word and start our days with the spiritual nutrients that will sustain us? I’m hoping that you will chime in with some ideas in the comments below, but here are some ideas that are brewing in my brain:

 While it’s hard to find good quality ones, CDs with scripture in song (usually designed for memorization) might be the soundtrack of the morning. Even though we may not set our minds to completely focus on the words, God’s Word will not return to Him void, and Truth will settle in our souls.

 Either using a pre-packaged set or creating our own on index cards, we can select a single verse each morning. If we commit to reading it while we brush our teeth, we can also pray that God would use it to speak to our hearts in the course of the day.

 We can select a verse or passage for the week, print it in a large font, and post it in a prominent place so that we have multiple opportunities to read and reflect on the passage. If we wanted to get really creative, we could find a simple way to make art with these – maybe by using a photograph we’ve taken as a background, and “picniking” the words on top. A simple frame would lend itself to instant decor that could be switched out every week!

 A small bible or devotional book could be placed in every bathroom . . .

 A number of hymns have solid, scriptural basis, and the combination of words and music can really speak to our hearts. These, too, might become a soundtrack to our wake-up routine.

 Depending on the ages of our children, we might find a way to set aside some time every morning for each family member to spend time reflecting on God’s word. Young children might listen to scripture in song CDs or bible stories – or even watch a Christ-centred video. Older children can use a devotional book or journal to mull over what God is saying through their readings. I remember using a book called Off the Shelf and Into Yourself as a young teen, which jump-started my personal study of the scriptures.

 Of course, we can always include our children in our bible readings, though this limits our ability to reflect personally to any great extent, as can be done with a journal. The advantage is that our children learn to see bible reading as a priority and something to enjoy discussing – even if we don’t always understand everything we read. My children and I have been slowly reading through the bible together these last few years, and I’m amazed at how much even DS4 picks up as we go along. While it doesn’t satisfy my craving for personal time in the Word, it does nourish our minds and spirits together, giving us common reference points for subsequent readings.

Can you make other suggestions of how we might have a “breakfast of champions” by feasting daily on God’s word?

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