If you have been reading my posts or following my other social media, I have suggested you slow down and live reflectively. Take deep breaths in the present time God is gifting you. Contemplate as you create to take in what God is sharing with you. Do not dwell in the past because that has past. Do not fret the future because you are not walking that path right now. Take God’s hand as He walks you through the joys (or tears) of the now.
Easier said than done. The past affects the present and the future is our tomorrow’s present.
How we allow God to walk us through the present and help deal with the past will affect how the future is handled.
Do these books look familiar? If not, that is OK. They are my current GO TO books for encouragement, inspiration and challenge.
Margaret Feinberg’s book seems to speaks to points of my need at the right time.
“Proverbs ground us in the life God intends”.1
If I want to be grounded in the life God intends for me, I need to do more with Proverbs than slide over the words as a mere check off to-do box. This is a relationship.
The second book, The Reflective Life has tools to help implement a reflective life into our everyday life. “The Growth Of The Reflective Life (Part VI) includes help with the scriptures.
Do you think it is possible to have a fresh breath of the Words of Solomon?
Can these word have the same affect on a modern 21st century reader as they did when Solomon first heard them?
In the section entitled “ Reflecting on the Scriptures” Ken takes the passage Luke 10:38-42. and shows how he uses the following items to help obtain the fresh wind for himself.
- READING THE MOMENT
- REFLECTING THE MOMENT
- RESPONDING TO THE MOMENT
- PRAY THROUGH THE PASSAGE
- GIVE THE PASSAGE A PLACE TO LIVE IN YOUR HEART2
These contemplative actions are slow and deliberate engagements to connect with our Creator. They can be worked through all the scriptures. The last two sit at the Master’s feet and listen. The last two take the Master’s hand and go where He leads.
The following is an example of the gift I received as I took deep steps to respond to a reading in Proverbs using Ken’s reflections guide As you allow yourself to go deeper, be open to life changing possibilities.
Proverbs 15:31-32 New Living Translation (NLT)
31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
you will be at home among the wise.
32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
As a creative person, criticism is one of the last things I may initially want to hear. I know I work hard to make physical, the beauty my mind and soul is enjoying, whether it is through writing, photography or fiber arts (knitting /crocheting).
The truth is, what does God want? “ If I listen to constructive criticism, I will be at home among the wise .”
“If I reject criticism, I only harm myself, but if I listen to correction I will grow in understanding.” (The One Year Bible NLT. I changed the nouns to make it personal as you read it.)
Verse 32 is a bit sharper in the results of one who does not take criticism
Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.NIV
What do you hear?
Is there a past pain causing rejection from any critique? If you do not discipline yourself in the creativity God is calling you, are you being true to yourself and what He wants to share. Does perfection and comparison from the past or fear of the future keep you from living in the present? Allow Him to come inside. He is gentle.
Taking a slower walk through the scriptures will allow you to hear God’s voice, HIS JOY, HIS TRUTH. As you walk deeper in His Kingdom, the passage will have a place in your heart. It cannot help but flow out. Join me as we walk deeper. Your creativity will reflect that walk.
1 Margaret Feinberg FLOURISH Live Loved Live Fearless Live Free. ⓒ2016 p52
2 Ken Gire THE REFLECTIVE LIFE ©1998 pp 107-120