Advent Day 15: Reviewing the Day

Advent Day 15

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze … (Genesis 3:8)

As a joke, the senior pastor at the church where our campus ministry is located made a Festivus pole.  Last week he made a joke about the “airing of the grievances” that is supposedly part of the celebration of Festivus, and another staff member said, “Oh, the airing of grievances?  I thought that was called our annual review!”  I laughed so hard I almost couldn’t breathe.

Well, you can air your grievances to God.  Seriously, there is a long tradition within Christian spiritual practice of reviewing the day.  It’s called examen.  This old word refers to a practice of reviewing what happened during the day, when we felt God’s presence and guidance, when we felt alone and lost, and a little reflection on what that means.

Sounds simple enough, but done well, examen can cut to the core.  (So be careful!)    Examen could reveal that you are a person who loves to air grievances and then take them back into your heart, as if they were precious treasures.  Examen could reveal that you don’t pay attention.  Examen could reveal that your view of the world is overly dark, or overly sweet and naive.  Finally, examen could reveal some beautiful gifts you have inside that you aren’t using.

The question is, if you try examen for a while and discover some things about yourself, what will you do about those things?  You might even try keeping a journal of your daily examen time and look back every once in a while, to see how you have grown and where you still need to stretch. 

Today’s daily Scripture reading from the PC(USA):  http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily/2010/12/12/

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