Friday, March 30, 2012

Are You Suffering From Spiritual "Fadeage"?

"Fadeage" Is that even a word? It is according to my hair color enhancer. The color I use to cover my grey fades over time, so apparently I experience "fadeage"!

Do I experience this phenomenon in my spiritual life? Definitely! Sometimes it feels as though I am just shuffling along on my faith walk, and the light of Christ in me has faded to a dim glow. Then I think back to when I became a christian at age 14 and how it changed my life. Our family never attended church, so attending services was a new experience for me. I had never really read the Bible for myself before, so each new chapter was a glimpse into unexplored territory. I had never prayed before so each prayer was an exciting step into the unknown. They were exciting times, getting to know God and His love for me, and entering into a fellowship of believers. The knowledge that God desired to be active in my life was especially intriguing!

One of the traps I fall into now, many years later, is to overlook God's activity in my life or to not expect it. How can I change this? 

One way is to spend just 10 or 15 minutes a day prayerfully looking back over the previous 24 hours. Some questions to ask might be:

Where was God in my first moments of waking? 
Did I experience God participating in my interactions with family?
Did I see Him work in something or someone? Did I recognize it? 
Did I sense the Holy Spirit in me as I went about my work/study/activities?
Did God answer my prayers?
Did I use an opportunity to show Jesus to someone I encountered?
How did I order my day? 
Did I hear God speak?
Did I listen for Him?
Where did I see God?

This is not intended as a "where I failed" list, but rather a "where was God" list. St. Ignatius called this the Examen, and it is a daily discipline that lights up my spiritual life. The antidote to Fadeage!

The more we pay attention, the more we will see God active in our day, and the more available we will be to God. Our light, the light of Jesus in us will surely grow brighter as we are more aware of God's hand on us in every part of our lives.


  1. Great questions for us every day. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Vonda! See you at BRMCWC?

  2. I love this, Sue! Something I just started doing this week in my quiet time - I think back over the previous day and write down one unexpected blessing. I'll ponder your questions too - God is in every detail of our life, but we have to be tuned into Him!

    Glad to see you back. Looking forward to more posts from you!!
    Hugs from VA :)

    1. Thanks, Susan! When we take time to reflect, I think it affects our whole life and helps slow us down - a spiritual recharge if you will!

      Glad you had a good trip to Israel. Wish I could have gone with you!

  3. Thanks Sue. This is a wonderful way to stay connected to our Creator. I've noticed in my own life that my questions have turned from, "Did I win?" and "Was I right?" to "Did I understand and respond correctly to the Holy Spirits promptings?" My wife and I had to do something very difficult and emotionally gut-wrenching the other day and wondered if we had done the right thing. When we received court documents that agreed with our recommendations, we felt God's peace and knew we followed His lead.

    Let's never stop asking God if we did it right.

    1. Bruce, thanks for sharing this. It's good to hear from you.

      I think, along with asking God if we did right, reflecting prayerfully on the past day helps us recognize that "still, small voice" and makes us better able to respond to God's call on us.

  4. What a lovely place you have, Sue, and what a pleasure to make a new friend. The Examen prayer has been a blessing in my life too. I love these questions you offer. I might incorporate them. Thank you!

  5. Thanks, Laura! Good to meet you here and know you've been blessed by the Examen!