I’m still reflecting on the time spent with others from our congregation and friends from First Baptist at Duke Divinity school two weeks ago. It was a rich week of learning that left us inspired to continue our work together here.
The final day’s theme was “Spirituality for the Long Haul.” The work of God is hard and filled with disappointment, set backs and failures. Old and deep wounds do not heal over night, and opposition is never far away. Commitment to tending to the Kingdom of God requires an equal commitment to tending to your own soul.
Unfortunately, this is not something that comes natural to most of us. Neither will we find help from our surrounding culture; true spiritual self-care is at odds with our culture’s self-centeredness.
Tending to our souls is something that requires discipline. As our facilitator pointed out, it requires an inward discipline toward prayer, study and self-examination. But also an outward discipline toward simplicity, solitude and service to others. And finally, it requires a “corporate” discipline of communing with others through worship, guidance and celebration.
This last one struck me: the discipline of celebration.