Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I remember stressing out about homework and tests in high school and people older than me would say “Ha, just wait until college- you’ll be wishing you have high school homework and tests then!” And when I would go trick-or-treating on Halloween and be excited about all of the candy I scored and I heard, “Enjoy it now because when you’re older you can’t eat all that sugar”. Or when I shared my dilemma about whether or not to spend my lunch money on something cheaper so I can save the rest and they said, “You don’t even know what a real financial burden is; wait until you have to pay bills and taxes and support a family and…”
As I’ve gotten older, yes I’ve had those thoughts – that high school is easier than college, that I can’t indulge in sweets like I used to, that teenagers have less to worry about financially, and so on; but that’s only because my situation and experiences are different now. Our joys and struggles are real, relevant to our current state in life and other personal experiences; they evolve with us.
Just this morning I found out that someone I have known since we were in Kindergarten has passed away. She was 25. Death is guaranteed, but old age is not. Although it seems like this passage is just a continuation of what people older and wiser have to say to us about growing old and how much more difficult and unpleasant life becomes, I think it is relevant to all of us no matter the age we are now nor the age we will be when we die.
I wish those people in my life instead told me that young age is not a “free pass”. I needed to keep striving in my school work, acknowledging that the habits I build in high school to handle hard work will carry into college and beyond; to enjoy sugar in moderation, appreciating both my present joys and preparing for when those joys may no longer be present; and to embrace my struggles and dilemmas, however small they may be, so I may not become naïve. This passage is that for me.
“Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes” with your creative and blessed youthfulness, but do not become blind to the fact that “God will bring you to judgment”. Youth is not a free pass. Maybe we have until age 25, maybe 75, maybe more, maybe less. We must both rejoice in the gift of life and prepare to give it back, while we still have it.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What are some of the things in your life right now that God is calling you to grow in, at whatever age you currently are?
In what ways in your life today are you experiencing God's goodness, patience, and the gift of his Holy Spirit to help you learn and grow?
When you look back at your life, where do you see evidence that God was present even if you did not see him in the moment? What can you learn from that reality?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Lord, help me hear your voice."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Find a new way to offer up your sacrifices and challenges to the Lord today. Instead of complaining or avoiding things, practice giving them to God and trusting that he will teach you through this experience. Be true to your state of life, and give those moments to God.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.