Building the core.

Here’s an email I wrote last Friday. It’s an introduction to a project that I’m working on. 

I’m at home today, as I am most Fridays (I’m a pastor and it’s the day I take out of the office). At the top of my project list today is writing for my blog that answers, as practically as I can, “How can I hear God better?”

It’s a question lots of people ask. A friend used to push me to figure out how to create recipes for this and other spiritual practices. But I could never figure out how to separate “making God happy”, which we can’t do with our actions, and “building my capacity to hear God”, which we can do something about.

As I’ve been working on some fitness stuff in the last couple months, I’ve been inspired by the fitness concept called “Core Performance” to get more practical about the exercises that can build our spiritual core like the exercises in Core Performance Essentials build our bodies.

Here’s what I mean by practical. With “Core Performance”, the authors describe exercises, illustrate them, tell what muscle groups are developed. But then they say, “So when you are doing this exercise, you will feel tension in the front of your leg.” And I suddenly understand where my quads are AND that some tension is part of the process.

I’m starting to use that same approach in developing the capacity to seek silence, to learn to take counsel, to participate in conversation. Each of those capacities are part of learning to hear God. And explaining the tension we feel when we are first silent (listening for the TV in the other room, tuning into conversations, wanting to immediately share something on Facebook) is important.

Thanks for reading this. There’s more to come.

Jon

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

4 thoughts on “Building the core.

  1. My noise cancelling headphones are an essential part of creating a quiet place in the morning. My mind is still prone to wander but it sure eliminates the distractions you mentioned in your post. It’s amazing how thoughts flood when I try to be still. Like exercise discipline and perseverance help. Thanks Jon.

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