The topic for this Sunday’s small group ministry session based on material from SpiritualityandPractice.com is Devotion.
Blooming Into Our Potential
True devotion and commitment are never made with the mind. These qualities, which allow us to expand, to grow, and to bloom into our potential, are developed through the heart and the spirit.
— Jamie Sams in Earth Medicine
A Teaching Story from Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Lessons for Transforming Evil in Soul and Society by Matthew Fox
Fresh thinker and theologian Matthew Fox presents a vibrant theology of spirit that recontextualizes evil and helps us reframe our understandings of the world around us. Here’s an account of a man who used a spiritual practice to change his understanding of work:
Recently a car mechanic told me this story: He was depressed at work but stuck with his job because of family responsibilities. Then he encountered a Sufi teacher who said to him, “Each time you turn the ratchet as you repair a vehicle, speak the word Allah.” The mechanic did so, and his whole life changed, the whole relation with his work changed. “Now,” he said, “I love my work. I love cars. They are alive. It is a mistake to think of animate versus inanimate. A car will tell you, if you listen deeply enough, whether it wants to be repaired or whether it wants simply to be left alone to die.”
Questions: Prayers of action, according to Richard J. Foster, are “each activity of daily life in which we stretch ourselves on behalf of others.” Using this definition, talk about your prayers of action this week.
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Her garden is work because it is of devotion, undertaken with passion and conviction, because it absorbs her, because it is a task or unrelenting quest which cannot be satisfied.
— Donald Hall in Life Work
To Practice This Thought: Identify one activity you do every day that can be regarded as a devotional act to sustain the world.
For a PDF version of this small group ministry session, click here: Devotion.
For more information on small group ministry, visit the UU Small Group Ministry Network.