Friday, July 11, 2008

Learning Journal 16 - Experience of Journaling

My experience of journaling has been a helpful one. Although I can’t claim to have been the most regular and consistent journal writer, when I have taken the time to reflect theologically on my experiences at college it has been a useful way of firming up my thinking in certain areas. It is sometimes easy for college life to go past in a blur, with so much happening and so many things to think about. It is helpful to slow down and separate things out in order to chew them over properly. At the same time I can recognise certain key areas and themes that crop up time and again which are clearly particular interests or passions of mine. This helps to clarify my calling and identify my priorities for future ministry.

I know that some people use journaling as a kind of spiritual discipline to accompany prayer and I can see how this could be a profitable exercise. I could note prayer requests, and answers to prayer and reflect on what God has been doing in my life. I think discipline would be the key word for me, because journaling does not come naturally to me, which probably means it’s all the more important.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Learning Journal 15 - Worship and Prayer

At college I have found the discipline of daily morning prayer to both challenging and helpful. I come from a church background which didn’t use much liturgy and learning to appreciate it has been part of my journey into Anglicanism. I have also enjoyed engaging in worship in ways that are different from my own background such as the TaizĂ© week, the BCP weeks and the international weeks. The weekly communion service has been invaluable and has facilitated some of the most powerful worship in the life of the college community. I have really benefited from the weekly period of silence that occurs on a Wednesday morning and I would like to explore this spiritual discipline more as I go into ministry.

Most helpful of all has been being part of a prayer triplet with a couple of other guys who I’m good friends with. We are able to be frank and honest with each other, praying for and challenging each other to be the husbands, fathers and ministers that God is calling us to be. I would like to think that we can continue this habit, albeit less frequently, as we go into ministry.