Rummaging for God
Soul Action has begun meeting leaders one to one as part of our change in focus for 2016. I (Phil) must admit it has been a steep learning curve for me personally – and for leaders – as we’re both used to me talking…a lot! But I’ve managed it, sometimes staying silent for 45/60 mins as I invite leaders to think, consider what they want to achieve and how to overcome barriers.
Whilst it would be inappropriate to divulge specifics, a few common themes we have noticed include: church, discipleship, ethical issues, finance, finding God throughout the day and having confidence in our unique calling – ‘being comfortable in our own skin’.
With the next gathering approaching in April, we’ve been thinking about how to respond to the one to one meetings as a team. Something I’ve been contemplating is how to draw near to God through the day, or at least to reflect in a way that informs tomorrow. A phrase I’m mulling over is ‘rummaging’:
“‘Rummaging for God’ is an expression that suggests going through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around, looking for something that you are sure
must be in there somewhere.” (Hamm 1994)
In reviewing the day, rummaging through all the ‘stuff’, God will be there, it is just a matter of finding Him. Hamm explains that this practice is known as the prayer of examen. Soul Action is going to be doing the examen this month – would you join us?
For the Jesuit order the examen involves ‘rummaging’ in the company of the Spirit, twice daily – at noon and at the end of the day. The aim is to seek Godly understanding – rather than just recall memories – looking for how God has been leading. Why not try this variation of the examen at the end of your day:
- Thanks – as you review each hour of the day, thank God for all the activities, the people, places and the sights…not forgetting the ‘small things’
- Give or gain – identify how you added something or you benefited from each situation
- Feelings – recall when and where you felt admiration, anticipation, boredom, confidence,
compassion, desire, doubt, failure, gratitude, hope, impatience, peace, pride, shame, etc
- Focus – ask God to highlight something important from the day; it could be the feeling
that most caught your attention or something that seemed insignificant at the time. Be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal and teach, examine it and allow prayers of gratitude, praise,repentance – and so on – to arise spontaneously
- Tomorrow – time to face your immediate future (use a diary if it helps). What feelings surface as you consider the next day’s appointments / tasks – anticipation, delight, fear, doubt, temptation, procrastination, weakness? Naturally move into pray for healing, help and / or hope…and so on.