spiritual disciplines, 2.0

My friend Rob over at The Spyglass has started a one-question meme: In what ways can you use blogging as a spiritual discipline?

It started as a result of my crack at Wayne's funny observance of the way in which Rob and I have alerted him to the importance of blogging as a spiritual discipline of the 21st century. Actually, I'm not even sure you could call it a crack; I merely observed that I thought it was notably funny, and that's about all the thought I gave to it. But Rob said, huh... (well, he said more than that, but that about sums it up). He gave it some thought, and posted this. And tagged me. So now I'm thinking about it too. Because I was told to. And because it's a welcome distraction from several other things I probably could or should be doing. Like homework. And mopping the kitchen floor, which was clean before snack, and is now covered in crumbs. And spaghetti from lunch.

Rob quotes more of it, but Dallas Willard in his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines defines a spiritual discipline as something in which "we meet and dwell with Jesus and his Father." I would add, just to be Trinitarian about it, that it's through the Holy Spirit's power that we are able to do it at all. :)

In a lot of ways, I think this comes back to what I was wondering about a few weeks ago - about how we live this life and we're to live it for God's glory and not focused on ourselves, yet we can only experience it through our own experience. (How's that for a clear explanation of something I'm really unclear on?) :) Kevin, my friend over at A Long Obedience, whom I met through some people in Germany that I've never actually met (!), is the person who introduced me to blogging in the first place, and a while back, he actually thought about giving it up because of the introspective self-focus to which blogging can lend itself. (His actual words were: "I'm wondering if blogging is rather the perfect device for pride, self-love, and narcissism.")

Good question. But I stand by what I said to Kevin - yes, it can be introspective, but in a lot of ways, blogging is a modern form of journaling, and journaling has been a generally accepted form of meditation for hundreds of years... Processing through what you're thinking, even if it does end up being about you for awhile, can help you get to where you need to be mentally before the Lord. Outward, upward focused again. And the added bonus to this blogging thing is that you get the perspective of people a lot wiser than yourself, and the privilege of being blown away at how amazing God's plan for His people is. He's got every detail covered, and I think more routinely than we know, arranges encounters between His people that will change them to His glory - and whether it's three women from three countries meeting in a coffee shop in Wetzlar, Germany, or a couple of people stumbling across each others' blogs and discovering life-long and life-changing friendship, each piece of this amazing tapestry of His glory that He's weaving is carefully arranged.

Being given food for thought, via memes or just the things that people are talking about, has been invaluable to me. So I would say that the reading dimension of blogging, and the conversations that sometimes ensue, are maybe just modern versions of lectio divina... and the writing? Well, yes, I do run into myself a lot, but I also run into Him, and so I think I shall keep at it. At least for awhile. :)

I don't know... did that answer the question?

Rob asked us to tag a person or three... I think I would like to offer anyone the opportunity to respond to this if you like, but I would most definitely like to hear what Barry thinks on the subject, since blogging has had such a profound impact on his walk with the Lord over the past year. What do you think - Blogging: A Spiritual Discipline? or not...?


Barry said...

Hmm, good one! My contribution is HERE.

Hanan Merrill said...

Interesting stuff to contemplate. It's hard for me to speak to this with much authority cause I've only been blogging for a month. However, I do find writing a valuable exercise to develop my thinking. I can also see how pride is an issue too.

I remember reading somewhere how Phillip Yancey has written some of his books not as an expert on an issue, but as a process of working through the issue.

Ruth said...

Hi Happy,

I found you through the Quirky meme comments and was pleasantly surprised to see you have added me to your blogroll....so I guess you know who I am.
Your writing is very fun and quirky and honest and spiritual. I will keep tuning in.
I relate to what you are saying about blogging as a spiritual discipline. Blogging is a great way to share our heart with others and get feedback and encouragement. I love the way blogging connects people. What a great spiritual community of honest blogging believers I have discovered! As the Bible says "the kingdom of God is like yeast". Blogging connects us like yeast and the words work into our spirit prompting those fundamental shifts that you talked about in your heading.

Rob said...

Thanks, Hap; I really appreciate your comments.

And Hanan, you're right--Yancey's said that himself. As someone else who does most of his thinking out loud, as it were, I resonate with that too.

Ruth, I like your image. I'll have to think about that.

Happy said...

Hanan and Ruth - welcome to the Shift! :) I'm really looking forward to reading more on your blogs - Ruth, I found yours a couple of weeks ago via Rachel. Thanks for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

It's so fun to watch how God connects His people...

The new earth is going to be a blast. :) I'm hoping I get to meet some of you before we get there, tho!

Hey, Kevin - if you're about, how's your thought process on the whole blogging narcissism thing? I noticed you haven't been posting much lately. :)