Friday, January 18, 2013

Spiritual goal-setting

Okay, so January is fast closing in on it's last day. Snow is about to bring the UK to a grinding halt. Some people are really happy about the snow, school closures and days off, but give them a few days and they will be just as frustrated about it as the rest of us that don't mind snow, but don't embrace it in quite the same way.

But while you're buried under a blanket trying to keep warm without putting the heating in order to save on the gas bill, why not stop watching mindless TV or endless recorded films and TV series from your DVD/Blueray/digital library and give some though to some spiritual goals. You don't actually have to be religious to have spiritual goals, sometimes it can even get in the way!

From a Christian perspective let me offer a few suggestions now that you've probably let slip your New Year resolution to read the Bible four times this year, at least once in a original language. First of all, keep them simple and achievable. For example, why not join the growing group who choose to sat The Lord's Prayer everyday at 12:00 noon. I have a repeat alarm on my iPhone that goes off at 12:00. I don't always hear it if it's out of range of my hearing or in a bag, and I don't always get the chance to say the prayer if I'm in the middle of a funeral, a meeting or even a tennis match.

Or, if a daily event isn't your thing, what a simple commitment to prayer each week for your neighbours. I sometimes pray Aaron's blessing over the streets along which I walk on my training routes. As we work out how to pray down the streets of our community, we've applied the same principle. Rather than go out desperately seeking revelation about families and houses as we walk, we simply prayer prayers of blessing. If God reveals something, fine, if not we can still bless our neighbours as we go.

There are probably hundreds if not thousands of simple things that you can incorporate into your routine that will form good habits if you just sit down and think about it. Rather than setting out some grand plan, go simple, even easy. you can always build on it later once the habit has developed. For example, if you take up the Lord's prayer challenge, once a week you could take a little longer to apply the principles of the prayer. After all it's a pattern of prayer not just a prayer. Think about what it mans to cal God "Our Father, who is in heaven". And so on.

Go on, go on, as Mrs Doyle might say (meaningless if you haven't seen Father Ted), use your snow day to set some goals!

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