If you’ve been around people who do any form of yoga consistently, you’ll hear them refer to their “practice”. If you play tennis, you talk about it differently. You might say, “I play tennis.” I’ve never heard anyone say, “my tennis practice” But, that’s how yoga practitioners talk about doing yoga. It’s a personal practice.
Thinking of any activity as a practice is a powerful mental mind shift. It becomes not about the performance, but about the journey. It implies that your goal is growth and development. One of the things God’s asked me to do right now is to develop a consistent creative practice. So, I’ve been praying, researching, experimenting, and thinking about what that means. I’m sure I’ll talk about that later, but for now, I wanted to share something I ran across as I was listening to an artist talk about her creative practice.
Laura Horn is an abstract artist in Australia and she has a podcast I like. I’ve binge-listened to every episode over the last few weeks. A few of them have been about her creative practice and her studio. As part of her caring for her own creative practice, she’d overhauled her studio space. She took everything out, evaluated it, and reworked her space to suit her needs. In the conversation she had with her husband on the podcast, she said she’d realized all the sudden that she was responsible for her own practice. He responded, “Well what did you think before?” and she replied that she hadn’t really thought about it before, that she’d been “making do” with however things happened to come about.
Realizing you’re responsible for something gives you power and motivation to take ownership of improving it. You may not have a yoga practice. You may not have a creative practice. But, if you’re a Christian, you should have spiritual practices. And they should be intentional. We often float through our spiritual lives on a big blow-up raft. You know, the kind with room to stretch out and store a cold drink? Our rafts let us drift comfortably wherever the current happens to be going at the moment.
But, we’re not supposed to be drifting. We’re responsible for how we live our lives. We’re responsible for our spiritual growth. We’re responsible for how we use our time, our talents, and our treasure. It’s so very simple to let ourselves be pulled in other directions. We’re busy. We have commitments. We’re putting kids to bed, cleaning up the kitchen, and starting the laundry. We’re working and trying to get enough sleep.
Like Laura’s realization that it was her responsibility to shape her own practice to suit her needs and her goals, it’s our responsibility to shape our spiritual practices as well. No one else is going to answer for your spiritual growth (or lack of it). You are. No one else is responsible for your relationship with Christ. You are. No one else is responsible for your life. You are.
Let’s not wake up from a nap in the sunshine and realize that our comfy raft has floated us into a spot we never intended to be. It’s easy to float along with life as it happens to you. But, don’t let circumstances or other people determine your future. That’s your job!
For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Galatians 6:5)
Do you have an intentional spiritual practice right now? Or, are you drifting?