St John Lutheran Church Dickinson, ND

             
Spiritual Flow
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                                                                                                                                         ~ Joe Natwick, Associate Pastor

 

Doo-dah-d...“no.” Doo-dah-dee-d…“nope.” Doo-d…“come on!” Doo-dah-dee-dah-d... “AGH!”


That’s what it sounds like in my house most days now that I have begun learning how to play banjo. The process of learning a new instrument is maddeningly and painstakingly slow. As with learning any

instrument, skill, or sport, I one day hope to know the craft so well that I don’t even need to think to

perform. But that state of flow (when you are completely immersed in an activity) can only be achieved with routine and repetitive practice. The kind of practice that is so repetitive and annoying your dog hides in the farthest corner of your house!

 

As I’ve immersed myself in banjo for a few weeks now I am reminded of one very obnoxious reality:

missing a day of practice always leads to lost skill. For everyday I “forget” to practice, I find myself

frustratingly going over things I’ve already learned. Doo-dah-dee-d…”UGH!” Muscle memory fades over time and practice is the only way to remember the movements and nuances of the craft.

 

Our spiritual lives need the sort of practice musicians give to their instruments and athletes give to their bodies. Our spiritual lives are fullest when we reach a state of flow – completely immersed in God’s

presence daily. As Lutherans, we often do a pretty poor job of speaking about spiritual practice. To us it sounds a little too much like “work.” But just because grace and faith are free doesn’t mean that the Spirit is not encouraging us to grow spiritually. We need practice to do that. We need practice to be able to see all the nuanced ways in which God is a part of our daily lives. We need practice to live out of Christian love rather than the fear and hate we see in the news. We need practice so we are ready to trust God when life gets messy. 

 

Faith is a gift, but spiritual growth comes with practice – sometimes painstaking and maddening practice.

 

As we approach the beginning of summer, our schedules change. Summer brings vacations, baseball camps, weekends at the lake, visitors, hikes in the Badlands, and so much more. In the midst of all this, it can be easy to miss a few days (or months!) of practice. Come July many will find themselves out of

practice and out of that state of spiritual flow.

 

This summer I encourage you to remember that even though you are feeding your physical body with all sorts of fun, exciting, and new experiences, your spiritual self needs nourishment too.

Remember to pack your Bible (and open it!) on trips. Remember to see if there are any churches in that town you are visiting.

Remember to make time to pray and talk about faith as a family. But above all else, remember that God is with you and ready to practice no matter how many days you missed.

 


WORSHIP TIMES
September - May
Sundays 8:00 & 10:30 am
Wednesdays 6:30 pm (Camp-style service)
Thursdays 7:00 pm

June - August
Sundays 8:00 am & 9:30 am
Thursdays 7:00 pm
CONTACT INFO
St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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