I thought I wasn’t going to post anything today. I don’t feel I have any great new spiritual insights to share; it has not been a spiritually exciting day; it has been a nice day, but ordinary!
Of course, all that is normal – there is nothing in the Bible to say that your life won’t be ordinary if you follow Christ; there is nothing in the Bible that promises us constant spiritual excitement if we are filled with the Spirit; there is nothing in the Bible to say that some days won’t feel perfectly OK, but that’s about it! Part of the genius of our faith is that it does connect with ordinary everyday life, it gives us purpose and hope, but in the midst of our ordinary days. The image the Bible uses of faith is often that of ‘walking with God’ – not running, leaping or jumping, just walking, as someone called it ‘plod with God.’
These are the days when we benefit from having strong spiritual disciplines in place, the discipline of regular Bible reading, the discipline of a good pattern of prayer, perhaps one borrowed from somewhere else or one that we have worked out for ourselves, the discipline of learning from other Christians through reading, podcasts or other online means. The whole aim of those disciplines is to help us (perhaps even force us…) to pray when we might not feel like it. They help us to move on, to walk with God through the less exciting times, as well as to recognise that the more exciting times may be rare and definitely not the normal Christian life.
These are the days also when we benefit from praying with others, so that their prayer challenges and enriches our own, and also so that we can make better use of the prayers in the Bible and the two thousand years of Christian prayer that we are the heirs to. This morning’s Morning Prayer on Zoom, for instance, began with a series of short readings that focused on God as the Creator of all – they were designed to stimulate us to praise him as our Creator, as the Creator of the whole universe. I am useless at praise, so it helped me to have those readings put in front of me by coming to pray with others, even if the coming together is virtual.
Enjoy the ‘plod with God’ days, and there will probably be many of those days through this time of self-isolation. If you don’t already have a clear structure for daily prayer, now is the time to create one; if you don’t have a good structure for daily Bible Reading, now is the time to find one. And discover others who are praying together in different ways at this time and grow your life in God, your walk with God alongside them.