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Week 4: Who You're Becoming

This week, we will look at who we're becoming, the goal of the spiritual journey.

Spiritual Practice: Sit with Stillness

To live in the city in the twenty-first century is to live in the midst of activity. Life in our city, Washington, DC, is enveloped by what I can only describe as a spirit of busyness. Even when I try to slow down, to create space, to sit still for a moment, the inertia of DC living tugs at me to get back to work or to get back into motion — anything other than just being still. There is an anxiety of needing to prove ourselves worthy by what we do or accomplish that keeps the cogs turning and the wheels spinning. Add to that the pressures of life — of work or school or raising kids — that keep us operating at a frenetic pace before crashing for a quick nap or whatever rest we can get before the cycle begins anew, and the interruptions of technology — the buzzes and bings. As I type this, there is a low hum coming from my computer, a metaphor for the underlying currents that always seem to be swirling. 

It is becoming harder and harder to be fully and truly present or aware, and sometimes the habits we develop — checking our phones any time we’re bored, staring at a screen in order to numb out or distract ourselves from pain — keep us from dealing with the deeper questions, the more raw feelings. Sometimes we fill the space with sound or with images because we are afraid of the silence — or of what we might find if we were to sit with ourselves for more than a moment, if we were to really allow God to speak to us.

Henri Nouwen wrote, “I wonder if the Word of God can really be received in the center of our hearts if our constant chatter and noise and electronic interactions keep blocking the way of the heart.” In Psalm 46, in the midst of tumult and chaos, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (NIV). This week, as we will seek to make space to know and hear God — and perhaps also our true selves, consider beginning your devotional time with a few minutes of just sitting with your eyes closed and allowing your spirit to settle down.

Verse of the Week: 2 Corinthians 3:18

All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

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