Being Intentional About Spiritual Growth

Recently my wife and I made a decision to stop griping about a particular situation that we were dealing with and to start praying about it instead.  

What precipitated this decision was an even more important decision that we made together: the decision to begin our day with some Bible study and prayer time, just the two of us.  

And if I want to be inclusive, what started the whole thing was a piece of word art on the wall in my home office---a quote from Johnny Cash, which I thought was awesome and spoke of Cash's great love for his wife June Carter Cash.  

Here's the quote:  
"This morning with her, having coffee." - Johnny Cash: When asked for his definition of paradise. 
My wife found that piece of word art offensive because I rarely, if ever, had coffee with her in the morning.  Instead, I guarded my morning devotion time against interruptions like a junkyard dog.  

So we started having coffee (she drinks tea, though) every morning we are together.  And we started reading the Bible together and talking about what we read.  And we started praying together about all of the things that were on our minds.  

Which led to us deciding to stop griping about a thing that was causing us anxiety and anger, and to start praying about it instead.  Now you're all caught up.  

Here's what we discovered when we did this:  Our thoughts and feelings about that situation changed.  We softened.  We became more open to feelings of forgiveness and hope.  And as a result, the situation changed, too.   

I'm discovering even now in my fiftieth year that one of the many keys to a deeper relationship with God, a deeper spirituality is to simply be intentional.  

I am certain that if we had not agreed to be intentional about carving out time together to study and to pray that my wife and I would have probably missed an opportunity to grow in our faith and to find peace over a stressful situation.   

If you are not intentionally making time to be inspired by sacred texts, to spend time talking with God, and to create spiritual connections with loved ones or trusted friends---you may be missing out on some valuable learning.  

Create space in your life for intentional study and prayer.  You won't regret it.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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