March 21, 2018
The GPS Guide this week asks a great question, “Is there anything God’s spirit is nudging you to face honestly in your life?” It’s not easy to honestly face some things. God loves us enough to challenge us to live authentic lives, real and true. This can mean God nudges us to stop hiding from ourselves or to dismantle assumptions about church or about faith or about our lives, just as it did for the Jerusalem leaders Jesus is talking about in Mark 12. Far from easy or comfortable!
So, back to the question, “Is there anything God’s spirit is nudging you to face honestly in your life?” How can you know? Nudges can show up as a stray thought, an “aha” moment of insight, a flash of emotion or a longing ache. We will miss it if we aren’t paying attention. Jesus invites us to have “eyes to see and ears to hear” all the ways God is present with us here and now. When we are mindful, God’s nudges can become invitations into abundant life.
For me, a key source of holy nudges is my body. Too often, I spend the day stuck in my head and miss God’s persistent nudges in my body. But when I get still and listen to my body, really listen for only a few minutes, God draws my attention, for example, to renewed energy I feel as I look at spring blooming or the tension in my upper body that suggests I’m spending my time on the wrong things.
These holy nudges may happen in other ways for you. Mindfulness practice invites us to pause and notice the way God’s spirit is nudging us, moment by moment, toward abundant life. Try a short Christian mindfulness practice:
Pause and take 3-4 slow, deep breaths. Close your eyes to focus on your breathing.
Turn your awareness to your body. Give loving attention to each part of your body, moving from your head to torso to limbs to feet, attentive to even minor sensations or feelings.
What do you notice? Invite God to notice it with you. Don’t evaluate, judge or fix anything you identify. Simply notice it and let God hold it with you for a moment.
What do you discover? How is God offering a holy nudge?
Dr. Amy Oden
Dr. Amy Oden is Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. Her latest book (Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Abingdon Press, 2017) traces ancient mindfulness practice for Christians today.