What is something fun you like to do? Hobbies like gardening, playing games, woodworking, or watching baseball? The most important part of our hobbies is that they are engaging. They command attention, and we feel fulfilled while we participate in it. It is what makes us want to come back to do again tomorrow!
It is not just hobbies, but do you like learning new things? Maybe you feel engaged when you are reading about how to fix something around the house, or handle a delicate family issue. When we are engaged, our full attention is devoted to the activity whatever it may be. Sometimes we need complete quiet as we sew, or we find it amid a busy noisy coffee shop writing your novel.
You are actually expanding your mental ability when you deeply focus on something. Even if it is something you do all the time, hobbies always find ways to stay fresh – if we got bored it’s not a very engaging hobby.. "Time flies when you're having fun" is true because when you are fully engaged, your brain literally does not process time. Being engaged helps your mind open up to the present, to the task and learning right before you.
The Tuesday Bible study is studying sacred art and examining how Christians have encountered the Sacred through art. For so many Christians, worship was a whole body experience, the sights, the sounds, the deep belief that God was present and at work. Today, church life is still somewhat separate from our daily life. I think it is time to reengage our faith on a deeper level.
Let me ask you a question, and please give an honest answer. Is your faith engaging? Does it make you excited, or is it more of a habit, something that is just ‘there’? Do not feel bad if you don’t feel super engaged. Most people don’t. If they did, the world would be seeing sanctuaries and seminaries full of excited people.
So how do we engage from where we are? Here is one good way to start. It is a Bible study tool called Lectio Divina, a Latin phrase meaning “divine reading.” It was developed to help monks better engage with the Bible. It is quite easy and only takes a few minutes, but offers a great opportunity to more deeply engage your reading.
Step one: read a Bible passage (length doesn’t matter) out loud three times and listen for a single word to stand out to you.
Step two: after your third reading meditate on why God would reveal that word. What does it make you think of— a person or place or experience?
Step Three: read the passage again (a fourth time) out loud and listen for a phrase to stand out. Meditate on at phrase and ask God, “What are you saying to me in this phrase today?”
Lastly, read the Bible passage a fifth time and ask God to bring to mind someone or something to pray for.
Give it a try and see how engaging God’s Word differently will end up engaging you!