The Spiritual Practice of Blogging

July 20, 2006

I’ve been in Austin a week now.  Wow.  A week.  In some ways it feels like more, and some less.

In the move, my stuff got split onto two trucks and only one has gotten here so now I’ve got all my boxes but no furniture really… Other than one bed, some mattresses, and a few kitchen chairs.  So I’ve been unpacking as best I can while waiting on the rest of the furniture, which is hopefully going to be here tomorrow…

And work has been really busy, so I haven’t been able to get much social networking started, which means I’ve been essentially by myself except for the contact with my kids and occassional dinner with my parents for about 1 1/2 weeks now.

Anyway – that’ll change tonight, as I’m going to my new parish’s newcomer’s welcome dinner tonight, and have some other stuff planned.  But all of this is really just background for how I got to this topic– how I need to find a Spiritual Director here in Austin.

My spiritual practice in Los Angeles pretty much consisted of getting up in the morning about 5:30 or so, getting coffee (one of the most important parts!), reading the Daily Office, praying for 20-30 minutes, and then writing my blog, which helped me focus the thoughts I’d had for the prior activities.  In the evening I also pray for about 5-10 minutes, and occassionally meditate.

What I was wondering was this– what will a new spiritual director think of my spiritual practice?  Given my demanding schedule (even though I haven’t started school and have no friends in Austin yet, I have been busy literally from the time I get up until I collapse in bed at night– and I haven’t gotten to unpacking yet), I don’t have a lot of time for intensive Benedictine practices requiring lots of contemplation, journaling, or meditation.  Frankly, they put me to sleep- literally.

But blogging has been a spiritual practice for me.  Today is the first day I’ve realized that.  In blogging, I have discovered new things about my spirituality.  Certainly new things about theology, but also new things about my spirituality.

Some of those things are 1) the need to temper my innate desire to want to react instead of respond to other bloggers.  2)  the need to form relationships instead of dismiss bloggers based on a label or classification of what I expect them to be.  3)  exploring and deepening my relationship with God through the reflection and prayer that precedes and (I hope) inspires my blogging sessions.  4)  finding the path the Spirit sets before me through the rich tapestry of the blogosphere in the story that is created when I begin clicking to read different posts, being open to the ideas presented, aware of the different points of view that exist, and appreciative of the diversity God has created in this world.

I’ve written before about the downsides of blogging before, because I think it is so easy (at least for me) to blog without a focus on these things.  But for me, with a focus on these things, Blogging can be a helpful tool in my toolbelt of spiritual practices, deepening my relationship with God and helping me to see God in the (virtual) faces of the people around me- which then helps me to become more appreciative of all of the people in my life and in the world.  And I think that is a good thing.

j

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