Stepping Stones to Adoration
I'd like to spend a little more time on the Prayer of Adoration. Foster rightly recognizes that "the prayer of adoration is something that must be learned." This pattern of learning or discovery followed by practice or application is the only way to truly grow in any spiritual endeavor. I've often been convicted about how much time I let slip away from me without any growth to show for it. We can't jump right to the final version of the self we would like to be. The best approach is taking intentional steps of learning and living.
Foster shares a few stepping-stones which will help us mark the way into a "deeper, fuller adoring." The first step is right where we live in the midst of ordinary life. Learn to be observant and watch the world God has placed around you. Watch a butterfly or a flowing stream. Don't try to analyze these things, just watch and pay attention. After a while, we begin to experience beauty and feel the affects of being surrounded by God's creation. I've been intentionally practicing this for a few years now. Often when I'm hiking, I'll just stop and sit still for a moment taking in all the sounds of the forest around me. Yesterday I hiked up a mountain on the Appalachian Trail. I stopped to admire a beautiful and intricate icicle formation cascading over a rock ledge. Never in the history of this planet has there ever been or ever will be again this exact formation of ice crystals in this exact pattern. How wonderful it is that God allowed me to be in that place to see this beauty. Because I practice this observation, these moments can take me right into adoration. They serve to make my relationship with the Lord richer and more personal. Foster talks about developing a "Grateful center." This is a place you can go to in your mind which helps you feel gratitude and adoration for the Lord. Everyone's gratitude center is unique. My family is a gratitude center for me. Just contemplating our "story" and thinking about how good God has been to myself, Kristen, Seth, and Abbey will bring me right into a place of gratitude. If we don't intentionally watch, observe, and contemplate these things then we'll struggle to find a place of gratitude and adoration with the Lord.
More tomorrow on the stepping-stones to adoration...