Viv Thomas is the Associate International Director of OM International, and Hon. Teaching Pastor at St Paul’s Hammersmith. He has authored Future Leader, Second Choice, Paper Boys, The Spectacular Ordinary Life and The Spectacular Ordinary Organisation. His next book, Wisdom Road, will be published in December 2015. For more information on Viv’s ministry click here, or for OM, click here. I have known and worked with Viv for many years and have appreciated his heart and his input. In this post Viv offer three foundational questions we should be pondering.
Phileena Heuertz suggests some questions that help us get to the core of what is going on in our lives. I suggest that we let them rumble through our minds and conversations listening to the voice of the Spirit as we go.
Who are you?
This is the identity question. It is not always easy to answer this but important in your spiritual growth. It may take a while to answer and the answer may change over time. God has given us bodies, placed us in communities and distributed gifts. So who are you – or we – in the middle of this? What words or images constantly repeat themselves in your mind signalling your own sense of who you are? What do you say to yourself about yourself? Is your heart focused on giving God as much glory as possible or could it be you are overwhelmed by negative experiences that have developed cynical speech or a hard heart as your identity? If your identity is not being rooted in the love of Father, Son and Spirit there is a confusing road ahead. So who are you?
What path(s) are you on?
We are all on different and multiple paths towards the future. I could be on a path towards a new job, out of sickness, towards middle age, out of a particular location, into a relationship, out of a cold heart, into porn addiction or feeling like I am on a path to nowhere. Some paths we choose others we walk because we have to. It is worth asking what will be the outcome of walking the paths I have chosen and do I want to walk these paths?
How do you connect with God?
Where and when do you and God meet? What is the nature of your relationship with Him? What does he feel about you and how do you know? There is a well-marked path for the life of prayer. Our spiritual fathers and mothers have marked it out through the practice of spiritual disciplines or rhythms. There is a rich and huge variety in this prayer walk. Corporate worship, solitude, scripture meditation, having a spiritual director/mentor, silence, service and great conversation all work for me.
Are we free and courageous enough to be attentive to the foundational questions?