In a prior discussion, we explored reasons why people use their Spirit so infrequently in pursuing excellence and in reaching for success. Let’s assume for a moment that you now know what Spirit is, and you agree that it is important to you. You see the need to learn more about it, and have already decided which habits of Spirit you want to incorporate into your life. Understanding how to apply or implement those habits can be confusing. Let’s shed some light on the subject.
Implementing Your Habits
Here are five practical and tangible ways to implement Spiritual habits:
- Meditation or prayer.
- Give back to your community.
- Create something unique; meet a need.
- Absorb God’s Word into your Spirit.
- Find God’s fingerprint in Nature.
Part 4 of the Spirit Series dealt with meditation. It is the gateway to the Spirit, because through it, we become familiar with, and accepting of, our inside (meditation) and outside (awareness) worlds. Please refer back to that section if you need a refresher.
Prayer is just an extension of meditation as we become focused and aware of God and His role in our lives. More than just asking for help when we are in need or in trouble, prayer should be a running (minute-by-minute) dialogue with the Creator of the Universe.
“Give me peace in this situation, Lord.”
“What other options should I consider here, Lord?”
“Thank you for giving me that insight.”
“WOW! That’s not what I expected. Now I understand.”
“I don’t understand, and I trust You anyway.”
“You have my future in Your hands. There are no accidents in my life.”
“Help me to hold my tongue. I want to honor You.”
You get the idea. He should be an integral part of your life, not just a punctuation mark. Do you want the defining moments of your life determined with the Almighty, or do you want to rely on your ego or someone else’s opinion in making those decisions? For me, the answer is a no-brainer.
Many people helped you get where you are today. They loved you, taught you, disciplined you when necessary, and encouraged you along your path. They may not have expected anything in return, but the selfless, responsible individual will want to return the favor at some point. If your “helpers” are still alive, call or write to them and thank them. Tell them how much you appreciate their input into your life. If you are like me, most of my “most important people” have already passed away. There are still ways to “give back.”
Find a need and meet it. Make the world and your current community a better place than when you arrived. It is more than just giving money. Be a model citizen, an ambassador for those who helped you. Pick up trash, keep your yard maintained and your car washed. Be on-time to meetings and respectful of other’s feelings and thoughts. Be the best you can possibly be at your work. Volunteer through meaningful organizations or in areas where you have a particular interest (coaching, tutoring, public speaking).
Don’t be a taker only; give back cheerfully. When you give freely to others, it raises your Spirit to new levels of greatness. Health benefits (decreased stress, decreased blood pressure, increased serotonin) accrue to you as well.
Create Something Unique
God put you here on this earth for a reason. You are not just a place-holder. You have a gift for the world. Find out what it is, and cheerfully do it! Give it away so that others might enjoy and learn. It might be a book, a song, a sculpture, a painting, a model relationship with your spouse, a child, a farm, a meaningful attitude, a model prayer life, reaching others with the knowledge you have, or amazing others with your abilities in sport while showcasing the Lord you serve.
Eric Liddell, 400 meter running champion in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France and star of the 1981 motion picture, Chariots of Fire, once said, “I believe that God made me for a purpose. He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” https://www.quotes.net/mquote/16621. I hope that the same is true for you, no matter what you choose to be or do.
Absorb God’s Word
In order to be more like God, it would be wise to study His attributes. What does it mean to have the heart of God? (Acts 13:22 NIV) What is a clean heart? (Psalm 51:10 NIV) Read the Bible and other distinguished works about God. Find out what He wants, and what He expects from those who follow Him. Listen to sermons and lectures, go to conferences, and find friends who can mentor you along your chosen path. Become a student of God. You do the same with sports heroes and other people whom you respect; why not God?
Find God’s Fingerprint in Nature
You don’t have to be in the mountains of Colorado, Montana, or Oregon, or walking along a picturesque stream in Europe, in order to be awestruck by nature. A leisurely stroll through your neighborhood or a nearby park may suffice. Think about every flower, every tree, and every person you see; where did they come from and why are they here? What purpose do they serve? And then, what about you and me? This gives new meaning and new perspective to the word “masterpiece.”
Spirit seems ethereal. How can you tell if you are gaining any benefit from becoming more Spiritual? Tune in next time …