As we enter into September and the beginning of fall, I’d like to invite you to take on a new spiritual practice. This has certainly been a season of trying new things, and I encourage you to see if one of these practices might enrich your conversation with God. Here are a few ideas as suggested by my colleague in ministry, the Rev. Linda Kurtz, who serves at the First Presbyterian Church of Lexington, Kentucky. You might choose one to try for a week or for the month (or longer, if it becomes meaningful for you).
-Explore the spiritual activity of gardening.
Duke Divinity professor Norman Wirzba argues that our work as Christians is to develop into godly gardeners, who witness to the life-creating presence of God in the world.
So first, read this article from Wirzba about gardening as a spiritual activity .
Then, if you have a garden, go tend to it. If you do not, tend to your houseplants or consider planting outside. If you have limited space, you might plant flowers or herbs in a pot. Here’s a guide for creating your own herb container garden . There are many other resources online. Go forth as a godly gardener!
-Go on a Rainbow Walk
This simple activity invites you — and anyone else in your household who might accompany you! — into a practice of mindfulness. Go on a rainbow walk, noticing things that represent each color of the rainbow. If you’re walking with a young child, review the colors of the rainbow before you go (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Throughout the walk, each person will notice things that represent the colors of the rainbow, keeping them in mind as they go. Keep walking until you’ve found something for every color.
When your walk is done, if you walked with others, share with each other the things that you noticed around you as you walked. Ask yourself how it felt to be mindful of your surroundings. Was it fun? Was it calming?
-Create a Prayer Wall
Begin the practice of a prayer wall. (This practice is one you can extend for several days or weeks as the Spirit moves you.) Set aside a wall in your home and provide pens and sticky notes to post a prayer. If your household is “staying home,” locate the prayer wall in the central gathering space. Prayers can be added throughout the day but develop a routine for when you might lift up these prayers to God.
-Write a Note
Write a note or letter to someone whose faith you admire. You don’t need to share why you’re writing, if you’d prefer not to. Simply let them know that you are thinking of them, and share a bit about why you are grateful that God made your paths intersect. Whether you share it or not, as you write, think about the impact this person has had on your own faith journey, and give thanks to God for them.