“Spiritual disciplines” are things we do to stay in love with God and grow in faith. They can be things we do alone or together; they can be ways to spend time with God or to serve others. As the people of Sylva First UMC share one of their spiritual disciplines with you each week, we hope it will inspire you to new ways of loving God and growing in faith.
Hi my name is Sebastien Brun and I attend FUMC Sylva and have been for close to 7 years now. My wife, Evelyn, and I moved here 11 years ago to start a family and that we did. We have three children that keep us both quite busy!
A basis of spiritual discipline for me is to Surrender. I first notice and become aware of anxiety and tension in my mind and body. In the mind it can be thoughts that are circling on a subject over and over. The mind could also be waging war on someone or something with a lengthy monologue. Manifested in the body it can be a tight jaw or clenched muscles or toes.
From the awareness of the tension, I then start taking deep breaths and relaxing the body and then easing the mind. I center my awareness on my heart/center chest and wait for it to expand and warm until it engulfs my whole being. At this point, we have emptied the vessel or bowl so to speak. We have essentially begun to humble or surrender ourselves.
Then I try to dig into the problem and pray with my entire being or body, not so much with words, for Christ to come in and to live inside. At this point, we are filling the vessel or body with God’s love. This process is the new thought pattern I wish to establish.
The final stage is feeling grateful and thankful and this serves for me as a seal of the vessel. I always attempt to be aware and maintain this new space that has been created. It is challenging, but making a new path does require some effort and maintenance.
To recap, I first become aware of the tension. I then seek to empty the mind and body of this tension. I pray and refill this space with Christ and the Holy Spirit and finally, I seal the vessel with thankfulness. This helps me deal with many day to day stresses.