In a healthy Christian life, we need the “essential vitamins” — the main practices of spiritual growth that are usually heavily emphasized in church (such as Bible study, prayer, and worship). Like essential vitamins in our diet, we need these building blocks of spiritual life so we don’t become fatigued and spiritually emaciated.
But I also really need variety. I need more than only the basics to live a full and happy life. Too much of the same, same, same can get boring. God didn’t design us to thrive via rote, worn-out routine.
And the good news is that Scripture and our rich tradition of Christian spirituality throughout church history offers us many ways to grow and connect with God in addition to these essential basics! Variety can help us flourish! That’s why I’ve included a wide variety of spiritual practices in my new devotional series for women, Flourishing Faith. Here’s a quick overview of the types of practices included in the books — consider using this list to add variety to your own spiritual walk this week.
• Act: Apply Scripture’s challenges to your life through concrete action.
• Create: Use art, drawing, poetry, or another hands-on project to interact with God.
• Examine: Explore Scripture using investigation, research, and study.
• Interact: Connect with another person as part of your spiritual journey.
• Internalize: Interact with Scripture using Christian contemplation, meditation, and memorization.
• Journal: Reflect on your journey and record your thoughts in creative ways.
• Ponder: Read and think about Scripture, historical information, or an insightful quotation.
• Pray: Speak to God and listen to him.
• Symbolize: Use an experience or a common object as a metaphor to help you contemplate a spiritual truth.
• Worship: Express gratitude and praise to God.