Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lent: Cultivation

In today's video from SSJE, we are reminded that reflection can be a very good tool in the cultivation of your life.  Using our site again, to cultivate means:
1.  to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
2.  to use a cultivator on.
3.  to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.
4.  to produce by culture:
5.  to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine:
6.  to promote the growth or development of (an art, science, etc.); foster.
7.  to devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.).
The seeds that God has planted within us (I wonder if that's in the DNA...), that make us unique, provide us with the opportunity to pursue anything we set our minds to.  So today's task is going to be a lot of reflection, and then some contemplation and prayer:

Reflect on:
Twenty years ago, where were you?
What did you do with your time?
What did you learn about?
What did you dream of doing?
What sort of goals did you have?

And 10 years ago?
Did you pursue any of the dreams?  How?
If not, what did you do instead?

And 5 years ago?
What have you accomplished?
Are you where you thought you'd be?
How did you get where you were?

Contemplation and Prayer
Write down the answers to the questions.

From the Book of Common Prayer:  O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

What seeds planted by God long ago have sprouted?
What have you accomplished in those areas?
What else would you like to accomplish?
Have you felt drawn further down the same path?  Are you pursuing that?  Why or why not?
Have you felt drawn in a different direction?  (Perhaps there's a different area of the garden to tend.)
Are you doing anything to further the growth of those seeds?
Have you been praying about it?

Write down two areas you'd like to see grow.

Under each area, write down small, definitive steps towards achieving those goals.  Begin each one with prayer.

Give yourself a schedule to accomplish the smaller tasks or steps.  Remember to include in the schedule regular times to repeat this process, evaluate what you've achieved, and if a smaller task needs to be further broken down to see progress.

Decide who you're going to share your decision with, or how you're going to keep yourself accountable for pursuing these goals.  God is a perfect accountability partner, if you're willing to listen.

Feel free to share here.

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