Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Do not conform to the patterns of this world...

One day last week while I was in Tampa, FL with my Advanced Foundations of Church Leadership Cohort, we experienced Lectio Divina in the morning on the passage Romans 12:2.  For me the phrase that jumped out at me was "Do not conform to the patterns of this world..."  Later in the day, we had 2.5 hours to spend in total silence out in the beauty of nature on the 90 acres of land that is the DaySpring Retreat Center.   It was a rich experience to walk around, sit in different spots being prayerful and reflecting on the phrase from Romans 12:2.

I was struck by all the patterns that exist in our world.  God creates in patterns, yet there is incredible variety and beauty in both the patterns and the variety!

If we are to break free of conforming to the patterns of this world, we must find new patterns of living that push us beyond the conforming and norming that happens when we live life in the fast lane, not taking time to spend with God.
For me, it was a rich time to set an alarm on my cell phone, trust the alarm and leave the phone in my pocket until the alarm sounded signaling the conclusion of my time.   In the world I live in the phone is one way of conforming and to have 2.5 hours without needing to check the time or a text or answer a call was refreshing!   It allowed me the refreshing ability to spend time in each of the above places taking in both the natural and man made beauty of God's world.  
I find that even today, I am still basking in the refreshment of that time (now over a week ago)!  And that challenges me to find ways to break free more often from the patterns of this world!

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