I wrote this article for the May edition of the Dry Drayton Newsletter
It’s Spring again, and things are growing, full of the promise of life. The season of Easter is, for Christians at least, also about new life, transformation and hope. I wonder how we can share in this movement forward. Perhaps one way is to take some action to give your spiritual life a boost. Here are some things to try:
- Watch the sun rise. Choose a good vantage point and, as you watch, recognise the beauty and complexity of the natural world. (And if the sky is grey, remember that clouds are also part of the wonder of creation.)
- Bake bread. Many people find baking bread to be a surprisingly spiritual experience. The act of making bread slows you down. Watch the ingredients transform, grow, rest and give pleasure.
- Read a gospel in one sitting. This the way in which the story of the life of Jesus was intended to be read. Discover a burning compassion, a loving mind, a strong will, a storied imagination, a rebellious nature, and a sacrificial life.
- Give blood. This is an immensely practical way of showing love for fellow human beings. Giving blood is an act of generosity: in this country no money is exchanged so it is not a financial transaction.
- Examine an icon. Visit a gallery or find one in a church. In Orthodox practice, the painting of an icon is an act of prayer. All the elements in the picture will have been put there deliberately. Look carefully and ask yourself what it prompts you to think about your place in the world. Could it also point you to God?
These are just 5 ideas from a book called 99 Things to Do Between Here and Heaven. Listed on a scale of extremity from 1 (lighting a candle) to 5 (visiting the Holy Land), these activities, and others like them, challenge you to wake up your spiritual life, to discover something life changing about yourself and about what it means to be truly alive.
Perhaps this Spring will be a time to do just that.