Spiritual Practices: Processed Past (Comfort- Luke 24:32)

“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” -Luke 24:32

“What was your biggest ministry mistake?” he asked. Famous for put-you-on-the-spot questions, my colleague seemed to relish the look of horror that crossed my face as all the eyes in the room moved to watch my reaction. Since it was my farewell luncheon, there was no way to pass on the question, to step out of the conversation.

“That’s the worst question you could ask an enneagram one!” I reply with a laugh as my brain frantically scrolled through scenarios, trying to decide on an honest yet innocuous answer. “As if I don’t replay everything, always reminding myself how I could have done better?!”

As I now look back on how I could have handled that awkward moment, the questions of theologian Christena Cleveland have helped me to reframe my thinking, allowing me to extend more generosity and kindness to myself.

“What if regret is a lie?” she posits. “And instead, every decision or action is a pathway to deeper, embodied wisdom?”

Our past experiences are what have brought us to the present moment. Good, bad, well done or regrettable, processing the events that have shaped us, the choices we have made and the ways we have behaved is a necessary step to embrace our future in healthy ways.

Just as the disciples reflected on their encounter with Jesus and realized they had an internal knowing (hearts burning within), how might our own examination of times of confusion, disappointment or regret reveal a deeper knowing that provides guidance for our present?

God of transformation and revelation, may I recognize the deep knowing and gifts that have come through my past. May I attend to your faithful presence as I navigate the unfolding. Amen. 

We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.

Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

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