08 April: Praxis Journal, Day Eight

ajjacobs
Have I changed? I think so, though I could never grow a beard like this.

This is it, folks. The last journal for the last day (well, half-day) of my week-long excursion into The Year of Living Biblically.

I observed all of my practices until 12:30 today, but I continued basically all of them except the prohibition against uttering the Divine Name (I had to write some notes on Islam, so it was rather hard to avoid doing so). I might even rise again at midnight tonight to praise the Lord – or I might just be up that late. It is Friday night for a college student, after all.

My observances today went pretty well. The usual slips of the Divine Name occurred in the morning, but, like the last two days, they were pretty few. No pork was eaten, and meat and dairy were separated by at least three hours. I said thanksgiving after breakfast but, unfortunately, forgot to do so after lunch and supper. My midnight prayer last night was interrupted by some residential noise for a few minutes but otherwise went well and, I believe, helped ease me into a deep and rejuvenating sleep after waking up for it. I only texted once this afternoon, and I’m not checking my social media outlets until tomorrow. It was actually kind of nice not having to worry about statuses, messages, and snaps for a time, even if I missed out on the occasional cute and/or funny video or meme.

So, what I have learned? From reading Jacobs’ book and observing my five practices, I’ve learned that maintaining a biblical lifestyle is extremely hard in the modern world and, in fact, probably was so during the era the Bible was composed. I, for one, am glad that I don’t have to follow all of these laws/rules in my life, judging from how often I failed at following them early in the week.

At the same time, I can appreciate the structure these guidelines, at least most of them, provide. Like Jacobs – and like I mentioned before – I am a person who likes repetition and regularity, and the practices certainly provided that. More than that, though, I enjoyed the new ways these practices varied my spiritual life rather than regulated my non-spiritual activities. They allowed me a new perspective on, a new glimpse into, the Divine. Sometimes our regular religious schedules, even the detailed daily rites in the Bible, can become stagnant and block us rather than open us to the Lord. We see our practices as burdens instead of joys, and if we try to hide our displeasure when practicing them, we’re only drawing ourselves away from the Divine.

Along with the other events of this week, I also came to a somewhat deeper level of a realization I’ve been coming to throughout this year: I need people. We all need people, because the Divine comes to us us not only through revelation but also through those around us. Like I wrote yesterday, I have to open up more to others about myself and my feelings. In that way they can know they can trust me and be vulnerable to me as I am to them, and together we can grow in and toward the Lord.

Well, it’s late now, and it seems like all the ideas I had for this last post have flown out of my head. I might post them tomorrow or a later date, but, for now, I shall bid you, reader, a blessed night. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey, reading all of these ramblings, and being another wonderful part of creation. ~

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