Structures? I smile when I remember my parents. Dad was a structured man, loved figures, tidiness, the ‘right way of doing things. We used to laugh as kids when he cut his toasted bread in the morning into little squares! He was a Quantity Surveyor Estimator for a building firm and good at it.
Mum was an artist, spontaneous, creative wanting things to move on…
They were temperamental opposites in many ways but complimentary. They truly loved each other.
Structure and spontaneity are both necessary for the spiritual life.
The spiritual life is about waking up, being fully alive, being most real, being most who we are meant to be. However, above all, it is about LOVE.
In the New Testament, we see two main approaches working together.
There is a structured Church approach such as in Mathew, the pastoral epistles of Timothy, Titus, and some of the other Pauline epistles. Then there is the Charismatic element such as in the epistles of John and some of the Pauline epistles etc.
The Church needs both elements if it is to survive.
There is a need for structure and need for creative spontaneity, both being about Love.
In our own spiritual journey, we also need both elements.
We need some structure, such as some timetable e.g. when is it best for me to have my main prayer time, morning before I start the day etc.
Do I need some scripture to start me off?
Do I need to talk to Someone about my spiritual life?
However, I need to keep remembering that prayer is about relationships.
My relationship with God first and foremost but then also with others and all of creation.
It is about movements of the heart, loving mystery, ‘a dance between lovers’.
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