Games With Points and Spiritual Practices

A Spirit-stretch Friday re-post as I’m enjoying the spiritual practice of a short Sabbatical… 

Spiritual practices are usually kind of like workouts at the gym.  They’re supposed to stretch the spiritual muscles that need stretching…to practice what you hope will one day come naturally (like running a mile on the treadmill so that if one day you’re being chased by a bear you won’t collapse in a heap after 15 yards).

But that can sound a little…intense, so a couple weeks ago I decided to make a little game for myself.  In our family we LOVE games, especially games with points.  (In case you’re worried about my theology about now, I know discipleship isn’t a game and it is about grace and cooperating with God’s work in our lives.  Just give this a chance! :))

I decided to see how many times I could genuinely affirm different people during the day.  I chose to give myself extra credit points for specific compliments that weren’t appearance related and for words of affirmation directed at strangers.

Maggie’s response when I told her about my game?  “Mom, you’re weird.                        Kind. But weird.”                                                                                                                                  I told her I didn’t think she was being very affirming.

I continued this practice over the week and it has been a rich discipline that has helped me notice things with gratitude…notice God’s gifts to me.

Some of the most fun moments of affirmation:

▪ Asking to speak to a customer service rep’s supervisor on the phone because she had been so helpful and I wanted to be sure she was recognized. (She was so shocked I wondered if anyone EVER says anything positive to Customer Service folks)

▪ Texting a young man with a reminder that I see God in him and he is a man of integrity in hard situations.

▪ Writing a note to a man who had been let go from his job, affirming the value he had brought to the organization

▪ Introducing myself and thanking a mentally challenged young man for the great job he was doing cleaning the health club.

Anyway, it’s been so much fun and has stretched my “gratitude muscles”

If you’re like me you’re probably thinking “Oh, that’s a nice idea.” but you won’t try it.    That’s why I’m suggesting it on Friday.  You’ve got the weekend to give it a shot.    We’re bombarded with so much information that sometimes we need to just try ONE THING and see how it goes.   Give it a try and see what you think!

OR suggest a different spiritual experiment!  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Let me know what happens!

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