Every Tuesday at staff meeting, we make a point to spend time in some type of spiritual practice. This is a pattern that has been set by Gene and a pattern that we value and want to continue as a team. I wanted to share with you this one practice as I found it to be very helpful in looking at our deepest desires. It may take some time before you can unravel what is in your heart but can be a helpful way in reflecting on your desires. What I appreciate about this exercise is that desire is not pushed away as something we need to either squelch or ignore, but rather, the very way in which we can meet Jesus. This exercise comes from Ruth Haley Barton’s book, Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Formation.
Take some time to be quiet before God. Take deep breaths and focus on your breathing, asking God to help you be aware of His presence.
When ready, read through the passage imaginatively, placing yourself in the story. Who are you in the story? What parts of the story resonate with you?
Read the story again. This time imagine yourself as the person needing something from Jesus. How do you get his attention? What words do you use? What emotions do you feel?
Imagine that Jesus turns to you and asks you the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” What do you say to Jesus? What do you need from Jesus?
Take some time to reflect on this need and desire. Why do you want this from Jesus? Why do you need it? Is there a deeper desire behind what you are asking?
Take some time in prayer and listen to what Jesus is saying to you through your desire.
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.