Our Relationship Model

(Excerpt taken from my personal journal after reflecting upon my boyfriend's and my relationship.)

In so many ways this male-female relationship and God's use of it as an allegory is helpful and makes me rethink my relationship with God.

First, I wonder about this concept of one flesh, sameness of skin (don't worry my moral values have not changed), and wonder how it relates to the Trinity and our connection with God. When we are made a new creation by being born again do we get to experience this same type of oneness with God? With God, can and do we experience that same strong spiritual-tied-to-physical connection that a child has with his biological mother and a mother has with her child?

The whole idea of the flesh, our carnal self, seems to have new meaning. I had never considered the physical in its matter existence to be spiritual, but then again all things are held together by Jesus.

Another thought related to friendship and the romantic relationship of a man and woman.
I desire to just be with my boyfriend. I desire to just be in the same room. That doesn't mean we have to speak a word to each other or do anything together. It is only about sensing each other's presence.

Why can't it be that way with God? Why is it that when people talk about devotional or God time it centers on the facts of what we do? Have you read your Bible lately? Have you talked to God today? Did you journal? Go through your prayer list? By the time I get through the to-do list of seeking God, have I really spent time with Him?

I remember several times when I went to God in prayer and in the process curled my body up into a ball, layed my head on my pillow, relaxed in the soft covers circling my body, and felt the heavenly embrace of God as I fell asleep. When I woke up from the nap I felt rejuvenated, ready to shine, and felt as though God and I had an amazing time together. I was asleep, but I knew He was with me the entire time.

Sometimes I don't meet with God because it is too much work. (Or at least I perceive it to be too much work.) It is understandable that at times it can be too much work and really tough work when dealing with sins, but at the same time that work is refreshing and changes us in the end. But I wonder, should it really feel like all that hard work to read the Bible or to pray through the lengthy laundry list of intercessory needs?

How do we practice just being in the presence of God? Or, I might ask, do we even need to Practice?

Jesus said,
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)


Katie Z. said…
you are on the right track baby! I have discovered this whole new appreciation for the spiritual lives of our bodies... (a great book is Body and Soul by marvin ellison) and recent discussions with my pastors have led me to believe that our soul is how our mind and body are connected. a speaker recently said a soul is nothing but bread and clay - the spiritual life that is sustained through sacrament and the physical life that is shaped and formed by God.

I also have really deepened my appreciation of other forms of devotion and spiritual practices by looking at and spending some time practicing buddhist meditation. In many cases, that disconnect between our bodies and our minds does not exist within eastern traditions... in meditation you are asked to pay attention to everything that surrounds you and to discover how things feel bodily - what does it feel like to have joy? what does it feel like to praise? what does it feel like inside your physical being to grieve? It helps you to be attentive to what your body is telling you - b/c often our minds repress those emotions and we can't come fully and honestly before God.

A retreat with fellow students this weekend also brought me face to face with the statement that "the goal of Christian spiritual living is an incarnational life" - we are to embody (see- body!) Christ in this world... to be his hands, feet, eyes, words, etc.

And we were given a list of spiritual practices that go beyond bible study and journaling - just a few are:
chastity, confession, contemplation, dying well, fasting, hospitality, keeping sabbath, simplicity, spiritual friendship, stewardship, stillness, testimony, saying yes and saying no, healing, honoring the body, being present, joy/laughter, playing, and worship...

your last statement on whether or not we have to "practice" these things - We discussed this weekend that practice is 1) what you do to figure out which particular devotional method works best (ie: you try different things out and try them on for size... you may realize that meditation rather than journaling sustains your soul) and 2) that practice is also honing skills to be an automatic reflex - it is what we do because we are not yet perfect.

so these are truly spiritual practices and help us to develop the fullness of our spiritual walk with god =)


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