“Jesus came to drive a wedge in the status quo and create spaces where new life can happen,” says John Perkins. Our personal lives, the zip codes where we receive our mail and shop for groceries, and the globe we inhabit seem to be spinning out of control. How can we create spaces where the status quo can be exchanged for this new life? How can we engage our world as ambassadors of healing, wholeness and good news?
This year’s calendar invites you to take a journey with me using a visual map that looks somewhat like a mobius strip (thanks to Parker Palmer for this idea). Each month I feature a spiritual habit observed in the life of Jesus Christ that we are invited to practice ourselves, aided by visuals of my photography, and important quotes on each monthly topic from other thought leaders. These “stations”, or habits, on the journey fall into some of the classic spiritual disciplines observed by spiritual directors, pastors and mystics through the centuries. I will feature only 12, one for each month. Clearly, there are more than 12 we could draw from so my list is selective, and confined to the rubrics of the 12 months of the year. Some of these habits (or spiritual disciplines) are more inward leaning while others take us into the world in humble service. I’ve modified, or even switched out a few of the classic disciplines for a focus that is perhaps more relevant for today. I feel this is appropriate, maybe critical in developing a spirituality that we need for our times that will bring us deeper into the new life promised in Christ, but also outward, helping us diffuse the fragrance of Him in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14).
If this seems like religious gobbledygook, or just too much like the Christianize you’ve come to despise, let me gently offer this as an invitation to be more spiritually attuned to a new hope that is emerging from the margins. It’s my effort to influence a world that desperately needs more spaces and people where new life can happen. Maybe you can become part of the solution instead of the problem.
This year I’m adding an opportunity to go deeper. Using my picture calendar as a spring board, I invite you to engage in growing a life of significance that is more attuned to God, to our world, to the people who inhabit it, and to a spiritual life that makes you a channel of good news. I truly believe this is what Jesus offers to all of us. Follow along in this inward-outward journey through 12 spiritual disciplines as I guide you with the following aids:
- Prayers, reflections, and scripts of suggested spiritual exercises to help you in your own spiritual journey. Will focus on the 12 habits/disciplines featured in this year’s calendar
- Visual “field trips” with contemplative photos and prompts to help you create spaces that “drive a wedge in the status quo and create spaces where new life can happen!”
- Tips and how-tos on taking better photos with “the seeing eye” yourself that help you in your own spiritual journey
- A weekly photo greeting card (photo + reflective quote) that you can send to someone else to bless
Follow this ongoing story here under the tag “12 Habits.”
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
― Ansel Adams