In the 16th century Ignatius Loyola required his fellow Jesuits to practice a form of reflection called Examen. Even though this meditative reflection is centuries old it is still very powerful for us today. It allows us to mindfully look at our lives in a prayerful way to examine where we are and where we would like to be. There are five steps. They are very simple, and yet effective.
First, center your attention on the presence of God always right where you are at this and every moment. Remember you can never be alone, so Spirit God is fully present within you. Secondly, with a sense of deep thankfulness review your day. Start from when you first awakened, even before climbing out of bed and reaching for that first cup of coffee. Move mentally through your day with a feeling of gratitude. Thirdly, look at your emotions. What is coming forth for you this day? See Spirit God holding you and nurturing you through whatever you are experiencing and lifting you to a fuller expression of God in your life. Fourth, choose one thing that occurred in your day, a thought or any aspect you would like, and really pray into that experience. Shine feelings of hope and possibility for new beginnings and opportunities into your experience now, and as you would desire your experience to be. Fifth, look forward to tomorrow with excitement and hope. Know that your tomorrow is the product of your thinking today; the two are connected through the power and Light of a God who loves you unconditionally.
As with all meditative reflection God will plant your answers like seeds within you and those seeds will sprout with beautiful revelations as you are ready to receive them and as they are needed by you.
Have fun with this Examen and enjoy the awakening God has planned specifically just for you.
“And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6: 11, 12
Affirmation: “My thoughts of God’s presence create a beautiful today and set the stage perfectly for a beautiful tomorrow.”
Rev. Jefferson Beeker
We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.
Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life. Please join us each Sunday at 5:30 PM in our Social Hall at First Christian Church, North Hollywood, CA for our Contemporary Celebration and Praise service. Come as you are and enjoy an hour of great music from our wonderful band and singers, inspiring messages and good fellowship. Those things in life that you have been seeking have also been seeking you. Now is a good time to receive them. We will lift one another to live exciting, abundant new lives of possibility and purpose.
Also, join me on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 PM for an hour of guided and silent meditation, reflection, affirmation and prayer. As always, we will share communion together. Everyone is welcome. We are an open and affirming congregation.
First Christian Church, North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604. http://www.fccnh.org
Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker