Monday, March 11, 2013

Heart Journey

Life is a journey. I become more and more convinced of this the more I travel. On this journey are various paths we must choose to take. For those of us who have committed to offering our lives to Christ and to following Him and His ways, we must travel the road of spiritual formation. Right now, for me, I have many paths that seem to be coming together:
  • My continuing journey of discovering who I am and who God has created me to be.
  • Re-reading "Renovation of the Heart" and it's companion daily practice guide by Dallas Willard, which is about our paths of spiritual formation.
  • Our leadership team at church is starting a monthly gathering time where we will examine transformation of character/heart that is core to our identity as Christ followers and leaders.
  • I am participating in an online art journaling course called "Soul Restoration".
What I am seeing so far is that these paths are converging around a common thread: heart transformation. On the journey of life as a Christ-follower, the goal is to become more and more Christ-like. This is the calling and purpose of our true self ~ the self that was created in the image of God, for God. Our heart has been shaped by human nature and the culture we were raised in and currently live in. Our journey then is one of positioning ourselves throughout life to have our hearts transformed by God's Spirit to the likeness of Christ's heart. We position ourselves by practicing disciplines {practices or habits} that help us examine our hearts and lives, and that enable us to surrender to God's re-shaping of us. I read or heard somewhere (I don't currently remember where) that we are all in the process of being shaped, it's just a matter of what we are allowing ourselves to be shaped by. I choose to continually be shaped by God. Some art journaling pages with content from my written journal:

"What is in our heart matters more than anything else for who we become and what becomes of us." ~Dallas Willard

Over time, through practice and self-discovery, I have found that some of the best spiritual practices for me are: Bible study, reading books, prayer and examen, solitude, and art journaling. With my "One Word" for the year ~gratitude~ I am developing a practice of looking at life through a lens of gratefulness, which is helping to restore my heart from negativity and cynicism that have worked their way in over the years. It seems the above paths I find myself on will serve to help me continue in these practices and see further heart transformation.

Our assignment for our "One Little Word" practice for March is to set some goals and take action. My goals and actions art Journaling pages:

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