by Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Wilburn
Several people at Lakeland decided to experiment with forming a Spiritual Order at Lakeland this Lent. There are expectations… Lectio Divina at least once a week, celebrate the divine hours three times a day, make contemplative retreat three times a year; do some spiritual reading, pray for some area of the church, come to a Sunday-in-between-services Eucharist… and some more.
How’s it going? Comment below if you so desire.
For me, I am getting into the Daily Office (divine hours). I downloaded www.Universalis.com and set my phone alarm for 8:35am, 11:35am and 4:35pm. The Hours show up on my phone. I can read the Psalms and other prayers wherever I happen to be – provided I have the time and place (like NOT driving).
This whole Spiritual Order is a grand experiment. (Hey my 11:35 alarm just went off – be back in a few minutes… …. …. …. Okay, I am back).
The experimental theme has much to do with the complexities of a “check list” spirituality – will we get caught up in the “legalism” and performance of the Order’s demands? We decided to error on the side of the check list this time around because most Protestants are so averse to a “works mentality” that they actually just don’t have any rigorous spirituality, no habit, no spiritual rhythm, no expectations. And then they sit around a beat themselves up for not having a quiet time, or complain that they want to feel closer to Jesus, but haven’t committed themselves to effort. As Dallas Willard puts it “spirituality done wrongly is the cause of some much pain in our world” (my lame paraphrase from memory). Since we tend to suffer from the errors of a do-nothing spirituality, let’s just test this supposed check list slippery slope – let us tempt the works-demon – let’s just see if this fear is grounded. I am winning! How about you?