This past Wednesday at Lectio Divina the words “whirling dervish” stuck in my mind because one person described their soul as “a whirling dervish.” Whirling Dervishes are ascetic Muslim monks who whirl around in ecstatic dance.
Another person recognized the crust, the crud that slowly unavoidably builds up over time: anger, mostly anger builds over time. His answer: solitude.
Lectio Divina is a devotional technique consisting of four stages: read, reflect, respond, rest. We take a short five-verse-or-so piece of scripture and move through the four stages. Lectio Divina is a part of Ignatian spiritual practices from around five hundred years ago. I call it spiritual study hall. The uptake is just about fail-safe. Everyone gets something from the text if they just show up and move along with others. Lectio Divina is not a Bible study, a reading of the text historically or theologically. It is a personal reading. Lectio Divina will tell you your soul is a whirling dervish. Where else do you get this type of critical insight? Prayer. And Lectio Divina is a slow methodical prayer.
I used to attend and facilitate about three Lectio Divina’s per week but it was too much insight for me. I cannot digest that much listening-learning from g-d. My friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Craig Babb with Rhythm of Grace Ministries holds Lectio Divina every morning. Kudos to Craig. But my whirling dervish soul can’t handle that much input.
Lakeland holds Lectio Divina on Wednesday mornings at 6:30a.m to 7:30a.m. at the Prayer Circle in the Soul Sanctuary at the church. Bring your Bible, journal and a pen. We “bookend” Lectio Divina with Morning Prayers from the Anglican tradition, just so we confess, remember our creeds, and pray for others. At this point I want to impulsively say “now, Lectio Divina isn’t for everyone” but that is not true. You should come. Everyone needs this. Everyone can do this. How else do you know if your soul is a whirling dervish and have a chance to hear from g-d about it?
If you cannot make it on Wednesdays at 6:30a.m. then gather three or four friends who can make it to your own time. Create your own spiritual study hall at Lakeland.