You’ve heard the saying “it’s a relationship not a religion” when referring to being a Christian, which is true in some sense. Being a Christian isn’t some set of rules or regulations you keep. You aren’t more Christian because of the things you do or the amount of time you spend going to church. Being a Christian is about being called by CHRIST to follow him, it means to have your heart set on the reign of Christ in your life and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you by His sanctification process, creating you more and more like the pure and blameless Son of God.
BUT…sometimes you need to get a little bit religious. You have to be purposeful about your relationship with Christ. Sometimes you have to set up a check list of things to accomplish for the Glory of God. Sometimes you have to be self-determined to set out to seek Him diligently. Sometimes that takes religious effort, a setting up of disciplines that take you to the higher places. I am doing just that. I’m Gonna get religious on ya.
You can blame it on Jen Hatmaker and her books “Interrupted” and “7: an experimental mutiny against excess”. These books led me to “Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day” by Macrina Wiederkehr. Macrina opens the monastery door and invites us into the monastic traditions of praying through the hours of the day. Opening your lives up to remembering God in each of our moments. Being “religious” about prayer and mindful about God.
The moment I picked up this book I knew God was calling me to this journey. I would love to leave for the monastery today and spend a month there, but the reality is I’m not free to do that so, I’m being called out to spend the month of September taking 7 Sacred pauses and begin a journey in the monastic way of life. I will set the bells to go off on my phone, hereafter known as “The ringing of the bells” and attend to remembering God in the moments of my days.
I’ll walk along side those that have given their lives to the Monastic way of life. I will renounce worldly pursuits (to the best of my ability and to the extent that I’m able while living in the world, being a business woman, a mother, a wife, etc.), and I will devote myself to the spiritual. I will not be dressed like a nun or carry around incense or take a vow of silence (sorry family), but I will be purposeful about pausing and waiting and turning to God.
Over the next 7 posts you will read about the 7 sacred pauses, The Awakening Hour, The Blessing Hour, The Hour of Illumination, The Wisdom Hour, The Twilight hour, The Great Silence, and The Night Watch. I’m excited about these 7 pauses. I’m excited about what they will bring to my days and what the days will bring to my month and how this month will transform my year.
Join me on the journey, lets get a little religious and see what happens. I hope it teaches me to be attentive, to emphasize quality of prayer rather then quantity (these pauses are pauses not hour long prayer vigils) and to move through the day with grace. I hope to un-crowd my being by getting rid of doing and be filled with reverence.
Greet the hours with joyful awareness. Greet the hours with faithful presence. Greet the hours with reverential bow. Greet the hours with a sacred pause.
Reverence each hour as a small stepping stone on your pilgrimage through the day. Receive the gift of seven sacred pauses. Practice waking up seven times a day. ~Marcrina Wiederkehr