A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

An Ash Wednesday Gift - Mark Werner and Contemplative Spirituality

February 17, 2021 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 17
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
An Ash Wednesday Gift - Mark Werner and Contemplative Spirituality
Show Notes Transcript

In this bonus episode, we share an Ash Wednesday gift with you. Mark Werner is Randy's Spiritual Director, and is well acquainted with contemplative spirituality and is a bit of an expert in the ways of the Enneagram. In this episode, Mark shares about his "dark night of the soul" and having a faith crisis while in pastoral ministry, and the more ancient practices that brought him into a more spacious and centered faith journey.

Also, we finish our time together by having Mark lead us in some contemplative and centering prayer. You're welcome.

The beer featured in this episode is the Tropical Slush by the always fantastic Eagle Park Brewing Company.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

00:00

hi friends this episode is a bit special

00:03

it's one of the first episodes we

00:05

recorded back when we were still getting

00:06

our bearings

00:07

and we've been waiting for the right

00:08

moment to release it ash wednesday seems

00:11

like that moment

00:13

we talk with mark werner who is randy's

00:15

spiritual director

00:16

i guess you could say he's kind of a

00:18

pastor to our pastor

00:20

mark guides us through a tour of

00:21

contemplative spirituality

00:23

spiritual direction and even leads us in

00:25

a meditative centering practice

00:28

we touch on several other topics as well

00:30

including the enneagram

00:32

experience in god and the christian's

00:34

relationship to power

00:36

we're breaking our normal bi-weekly

00:38

schedule to get this to you as we begin

00:40

lent

00:40

because we think it can minister to you

00:42

the way mark ministered to us

00:44

that night last summer we'll return to

00:47

our normal schedule next week

00:49

thanks for listening

00:55

welcome to a pastor and philosopher walk

00:57

into a bar

00:58

the podcast where we mix a sometimes

01:00

weird but always delicious cocktail of

01:02

theology

01:03

philosophy and spirituality

01:07

we're so excited you joined us today for

01:09

this episode of a pastor and philosopher

01:11

walk into a bar

01:13

today we are going to take a walk down

01:15

the road of

01:16

contemplative spirituality that's a

01:20

spiritual journey that too few of us

01:22

take and i'm excited to share a guest

01:24

with you but before we get into that

01:26

kyle what are we drinking well today i

01:29

have another

01:30

treat for you guys so this is another

01:32

instantiation of the eagle park

01:34

brewing company slushy series

01:37

what a treat for the i know for the uh

01:40

the beer snobs in the audience you

01:42

either hate these things or you love

01:43

them

01:44

so this one is called tropical slush

01:47

it is a mixture of mango passion fruit

01:51

and pineapple and this is another one of

01:53

those that has so much fruit in it you

01:55

have to roll it so we're going to roll

01:56

our cans before we open them here

01:58

rolling as we speak off the top of your

02:01

desk there

02:02

i never thought i'd see the day where i

02:04

rolled my damn beer

02:08

but here i am yeah only only for these

02:10

flushes is that actually

02:12

important so this one is going to pour a

02:14

little bit thinner

02:15

than the one we had before it's going to

02:18

be lighter in color so you see a nice

02:21

golden kind of mango color ellie it's

02:23

spilling all over the studio here

02:25

it looks like a wheat ale it does it

02:27

looks like a weed or a sour

02:29

yeah so it is a sour base sour ale which

02:32

most of these slushies are they're

02:33

usually some kind of berliner vice or

02:35

sour or something like that

02:36

then with thousands of pounds of fruit

02:38

just dumped in

02:40

so that's what we're getting here all

02:42

right we'd love to hear from any

02:43

listeners who are slushy fans

02:45

i i'll bet there's like four out there

02:48

it's more than you think i won't name

02:51

any names but there there are several

02:52

breweries who specialize in this style

02:55

that uh their beers sell for shocking

02:58

amounts of money on the secondary beer

02:59

market not that i would know anything

03:01

about the secondary beer market because

03:03

that's not legal

03:04

um but i've heard stories all right so

03:07

these

03:07

these uh slushie beers tend to be lower

03:10

abv often they don't even put it on the

03:11

can so this one doesn't even have the

03:12

abv on the can

03:14

uh but usually less than eight percent

03:16

and sometimes as low as four or five

03:17

percent

03:18

but i'm not certain about this one this

03:21

is something that people that don't like

03:22

beer

03:23

really might still enjoy so you could

03:25

easily get a four pack and give some to

03:27

your spouse who

03:28

isn't into beer and they'll probably

03:29

like it well

03:31

eagle park you rocked it this is

03:34

delicious tropical slush

03:35

i highly highly recommend it i'll be

03:37

getting some our gentleman post

03:43

well friends i'm so excited to introduce

03:45

to you a person who has become

03:48

really just a beautiful part of my life

03:50

he is my spiritual director

03:51

has been for about the last year and

03:54

mark is

03:54

a brilliant brilliant person and trusted

03:57

friends so mark warner

03:58

welcome to a pastor and a philosopher

04:00

walking to a bar

04:02

i like i like the title and i'm glad to

04:04

be here mark can you just tell us

04:06

maybe your role right now first of all

04:09

my role

04:10

is that i seek to accompany or companion

04:13

with those who are in ministry

04:15

particularly in the role of spiritual

04:18

direction

04:19

been doing that for about seven years

04:21

now brilliant

04:23

and can you tell us a bit about your

04:26

journey what

04:26

where were you vocationally where you

04:29

start

04:29

and how did you get into being a

04:32

spiritual director for people in

04:33

ministry

04:34

yeah i've been in ministry 36 years

04:38

uh 11 of those years we're on staff with

04:41

crew

04:42

and then 21 years as a pastor in a local

04:46

church here in the area

04:47

in the in the last few years in my role

04:50

within grace bridge alliance as

04:52

spiritual director

04:54

what led me into the vocation that i am

04:56

in right now

04:58

was actually a a prolonged period of

05:01

spiritual

05:02

dryness or as as some

05:05

refer to it now as as a dark night

05:08

a dark night of the soul where i'm

05:10

crying out to god wondering if god is

05:12

even

05:13

there because that level of dryness for

05:16

me

05:17

i i was no longer experiencing god as i

05:19

as i thought i had in the past

05:22

can i interrupt you quick mark how long

05:24

did that last that season of that dark

05:25

night of the soul

05:26

dryness yeah i think uh about from

05:29

from my early 40s until uh

05:32

my about 47 48 so a period about seven

05:37

years of

05:38

of struggling to do the things that i

05:41

felt called to but doing it from

05:44

what for me felt like a very dry or an

05:47

even even empty place

05:48

at times and and that's the hard

05:52

part about sometimes when you are in

05:54

ministry

05:55

is you're called to function in a way

05:58

that gives

05:59

spiritually even at a time when you may

06:02

not be

06:03

terribly filled spiritually and so you

06:06

rely upon things

06:07

borrowed you rely upon things from the

06:10

past

06:11

and you try to present them as new but

06:14

you

06:15

know internally that this isn't taking

06:18

you to the same place and so

06:22

in that time what began to mark my life

06:25

is that i

06:26

i was feeling fraudulent it's like

06:29

i'm i'm trying to say here's how to walk

06:32

with god

06:33

and yet i know it was taking me only so

06:35

far and

06:36

there's not there was nothing more i

06:38

could point people to

06:39

and where i was i didn't think was

06:42

necessarily that attractive but it's all

06:45

i had to offer

06:46

so that was that was for me a really

06:48

disorienting time

06:50

so what was the the bump in the road

06:52

that

06:53

brought you down that new direction what

06:54

was that spark yeah so so

06:56

uh there was a couple things so i looked

06:59

at

06:59

myself in ministry and and didn't feel

07:02

terribly

07:03

successful i looked at my marriage and i

07:06

didn't feel

07:07

like i had the most the perfect marriage

07:11

i looked at my children i have four

07:13

children

07:14

my oldest at the time was going off to

07:16

college

07:17

i didn't feel like a terribly good dad

07:19

and so i guess what i'm saying is

07:21

is the bump in the road is in all those

07:24

things that i had marked myself

07:27

and a lot of my sense of identity

07:31

marriage work parenting i felt

07:34

very much almost like i would say a

07:36

failure and i was

07:37

i felt like a failure and so i remember

07:40

my son at the time

07:41

was about seven or eight and i was

07:44

at his bedside in and i'm praying with

07:47

him as i did with all my children

07:50

and in the middle of my prayer i

07:52

internally i'm saying

07:54

why are you even praying right now

07:57

you know you're it's it's like my

07:59

prayers were bouncing off the ceiling

08:00

and just coming right back on top of me

08:03

and i uh i knew something had to change

08:08

and i knew i couldn't continue

08:11

in what for me felt that i'm not being a

08:14

person of integrity

08:16

and so the sense of failure and then

08:20

asking for a week off of work to

08:23

to get a loan and i i asked for a cabin

08:26

in

08:26

in rhinelander wisconsin and i went up

08:29

to that cabin

08:30

not knowing if i was going to come back

08:32

staying in ministry

08:34

or or just kind of relinquishing it all

08:36

and just say

08:37

i have to find something else to do and

08:40

so the the long and short of that

08:42

i won't go into all the details is uh i

08:45

can't say god met me in a powerful way

08:47

but god met me in a real way

08:49

and where i was questioning do i even

08:52

have

08:53

faith what i sensed both affirmed from

08:56

god

08:57

is that faith is all that i've ever had

09:01

and all the other stuff was really

09:04

secondary or tertiary

09:07

can can we dig into that just a little

09:08

bit what do you mean by

09:10

the claim that faith is all that you

09:12

ever had

09:14

yeah i think i equated faith

09:17

by by look at what i do

09:20

okay look at my achievements looks look

09:23

at the identifiable markers the the

09:25

roles i have

09:27

and i used to tell people you know

09:29

follow me as i'm following christ look

09:31

just like me and yet

09:33

uh i felt like all those things that i

09:36

pointed to

09:37

were not what was most important about

09:39

me

09:40

what was most important about me was

09:43

this this place

09:44

of faith of trust as

09:48

i want to say as weak as it was it was

09:51

something that i

09:52

i couldn't let go of and that's all that

09:55

seemed to

09:56

to me to really matter is that

09:59

there was a a call to trust or a desire

10:03

not even

10:04

a call that sounds too religious a

10:06

desire to trust

10:07

in the midst of what for me was uh

10:11

uncertainty and so

10:14

for me faith was not going to be now

10:16

tied to i'm a pastor

10:18

i'm a christian dad it was going to be

10:20

tied to this

10:22

this place of of me and you god

10:25

whether i ever experience in you again

10:27

god

10:28

this for me is the call of faith for me

10:31

does that make sense

10:33

yeah a lot so would you say that

10:37

your faith after this experience or

10:39

after this realization that you had

10:41

in the cabin would you say your faith

10:43

experience changed

10:45

after that or would you would you and i

10:47

guess a related question

10:49

would you see it as a continuation of

10:51

the same faith before that you're just

10:53

more aware of or would you see it as a

10:54

kind of discontinuous thing where your

10:56

faith took on a totally different nature

10:58

does that make sense yeah i don't yeah i

11:00

don't think it's it can ever be

11:02

discontinuous i think it's always

11:04

whatever it is

11:06

it's something that marks how you

11:08

understood it at that time in

11:09

in your life and so for me when i say

11:13

faith for the first time i was able to

11:16

hold on to or at least embrace that i

11:19

don't have to be certain on everything

11:21

and that i don't have to be perfect on

11:24

everything

11:24

that i can live with mystery and

11:28

really it's actually in not being

11:31

certain

11:32

that that faith is understood

11:35

it's like the to use the the

11:38

the relationship that we have with our

11:40

spouses it's in the absence of our

11:42

spouse

11:43

that faithfulness is shown

11:47

yeah and and i saw that for me with god

11:50

is it's in the absence of experiencing

11:53

this relationship that faith is shown

11:57

for me

11:58

so i know i no longer needed like i had

12:01

in the past

12:02

god you have to meet me in this way then

12:04

i'll know what faith is

12:06

it was now able to live with that sense

12:08

of mystery

12:10

or uncertainty so was it

12:13

could you say that before you got to

12:15

that cabin in rhinelander

12:17

you saw your faith as certainty and that

12:19

was almost a big part of the struggle is

12:21

you couldn't be certain because you

12:23

didn't feel it but what you actually

12:24

transitioned into and graduated into an

12:27

actual real understanding of what faith

12:28

is

12:29

yeah a a deeper or it definitely seemed

12:33

more real to me you know how many times

12:36

have we said

12:37

oh god if you just show yourself to me

12:39

this once

12:40

in reality i will never doubt you again

12:44

and so

12:45

and maybe god in his grace gives you

12:47

that visionary moment

12:49

but as time goes on our distance from

12:51

that moment we begin to say

12:53

was that real did it really happen

12:56

yeah and and we long for it again and i

12:59

guess what i'm saying is

13:00

it's in the absence of now demanding

13:03

that god

13:05

show himself in those ways i knew

13:09

what i longed for was to continue on in

13:13

faith and and for me my understanding of

13:17

that is what marks me as a spiritual

13:20

person

13:21

because i believe that is received i

13:23

don't think

13:24

i think that is and i can't explain it

13:27

it's it

13:27

in some levels it's this is inexplicable

13:30

for me to be able to say

13:31

that i i receive faith but all of a

13:34

sudden

13:34

faith is was all that mattered to me

13:38

but it was no longer tied to how much i

13:40

knew about god

13:41

how much i knew about building church

13:43

how much i knew about the role of being

13:45

a pastor

13:46

i understood as faith as that which is

13:49

something that

13:50

marked my relationship with god

13:54

would would it be fair to say

13:57

that faith as you're speaking about it

14:02

was a kind of willful

14:05

continued commitment to god in the face

14:08

of uncertainty

14:09

and maybe doubt and maybe the absence of

14:12

a spiritual experience

14:15

or yeah would would faith as you're

14:18

describing it

14:19

require some kind of experience of the

14:22

presence of god how are those things

14:24

related

14:26

yeah it's like the the more we pursue

14:30

the experience of god the more elusive

14:32

it sometimes it becomes

14:33

yeah and so i don't want to ever reduce

14:36

faith for me as to an experience of god

14:40

a sensation of god or an argument

14:43

or a theological view does it

14:46

incorporate some of those things

14:48

yes so for me

14:51

it's almost about being less willful and

14:54

more surrendered

14:56

less uh less conviction and more trust

15:01

and again that's the the hard part for

15:03

me to explain

15:04

is i i remember at one time

15:08

going and saying to god i no longer want

15:10

to defend you god

15:13

i don't want to argue for you anymore

15:15

all i want is to know you

15:17

and when i remember saying that all of a

15:19

sudden how i knew

15:21

god changed

15:24

it's like uh i had all the arguments and

15:27

i had all the theological constructs for

15:29

god

15:30

but they could not bring me intimacy

15:33

with god

15:36

and what brought me intimacy with god

15:39

was now this place of

15:40

i trust you to do with me to lead me

15:45

as as you desire

15:49

my posture is now just going to be one

15:51

of trust

15:53

did your uh what you described as a dark

15:56

night of the soul that kind of absence

15:57

did that continue or did that

15:59

lift at the moment of this realization

16:02

yeah you know you know you you look back

16:04

and you say these things and it's like

16:06

oh yeah it just happened

16:07

no that for me took a long time

16:10

there was this steady place of

16:14

recognizing my longing for god wanting

16:17

to experience him

16:19

and saying i will trust you whether i

16:22

experience you or not

16:24

i will i i i will i will move towards a

16:28

place of trust

16:30

and and the oddity if this could be

16:33

called odd is

16:34

in in when i got to that place

16:37

of not trying to control my experience

16:39

of god

16:41

then i began to see god i began to see

16:45

god in many different ways and in many

16:48

different places

16:50

the jesuits speak about the joy of

16:53

their lives is to see god in everything

16:57

and there was this reality that i began

17:00

to see

17:01

god in things that i never saw

17:04

and i can't say it was willful as much

17:07

as it was postured

17:09

to trust posture to be open

17:13

and that's why i struggle a little bit

17:14

kyle with the word willful

17:16

because i it does it doesn't adequately

17:19

cover it for me because it doesn't feel

17:21

i never want to say to somebody it's

17:23

about mustering up

17:25

trust it's it almost feels the opposite

17:28

it felt

17:29

more relinquishing that's fair yeah

17:32

so what i'm after is there was a moment

17:35

of decision

17:36

there there was a willful in the sense

17:39

that you you exercised your volition

17:41

in the absence of an experience in the

17:43

absence of certainty

17:44

you decided i'm going to trust this

17:48

right yeah correct yeah

17:51

i'm going to i'm going to trust this and

17:53

and then there was there was some for me

17:56

addressing some things in my life at a

17:58

little bit more profound level

18:00

uh a deeper level there were patterns in

18:03

my life

18:03

of how i was relating to others there

18:05

was behaviors in my life that weren't

18:08

changed from my 20s

18:09

that i wanted to address and not just

18:11

understand that in terms of

18:13

a moral imperative do this don't do that

18:16

but understand what what's going on in

18:18

me

18:19

and learning to take what's going on

18:21

with me and and bringing that

18:23

to god and just saying god what is that

18:25

about

18:26

in me and so that for me

18:30

became the intentional part of learning

18:33

new practices

18:34

that allowed me to be present with my

18:38

whole self

18:39

within god and allowing god to do what

18:42

god alone can do

18:44

it's good so mark because i know a bit

18:46

of your journey

18:47

you didn't last at that church

18:49

leadership position how how many

18:51

how long did it take for you to leave

18:53

that yeah well there were some practices

18:55

for me

18:56

that were were becoming really central

18:58

to my life and

18:59

uh both the practice of solitude

19:03

the role of silence uh of learning

19:06

practices of stilling or centering

19:08

prayer

19:09

that i didn't want to teach in the

19:11

church until they were fully integrated

19:13

into my life

19:15

and so after about two to three years i

19:18

i

19:18

finally felt freedom to begin to speak

19:21

of some of these things

19:22

and as i spoke of some of the things

19:24

that for me were central

19:26

to to continuing on in this journey i

19:29

my view of leadership changed i became

19:32

more of a sense of discerning will

19:35

together

19:36

rather than saying this is what i want

19:39

i'm i'm the leader

19:40

everybody follow me it began to to focus

19:44

on

19:44

let's let's discover this and discern

19:47

god's will together

19:48

so my view of leadership change and it

19:51

changed because of those practices

19:53

that i began to build into my life of

19:55

learning to be alone with god

19:57

in solitude and quiet and that sounds a

20:00

whole lot like

20:00

ruth haley barton yeah yeah she was you

20:03

know

20:04

kyle you had mentioned what were some of

20:05

the things that that were really

20:07

essential

20:07

i knew i needed to change but i also

20:09

needed to recognize

20:11

that i needed somebody to help me and so

20:13

the transforming center

20:15

out of wheaton illinois with ruth haley

20:17

barton was central to that

20:19

so that was a gathering at the time of

20:21

of about 65

20:22

different people men and women in

20:24

ministry to learn about

20:26

what are the practices that we can

20:29

develop

20:30

in our lives that create not

20:33

burden some rhythms to our life but

20:35

natural rhythms that keep us present to

20:38

god

20:38

so i was a part of a transforming

20:40

community with

20:42

these 65 people with her receiving

20:45

instructions in spiritual practices and

20:47

disciplines

20:48

but very different than how i understood

20:51

spiritual disciplines

20:53

they were much more whole person much

20:55

more integrated

20:56

and in in doing that there was this

21:00

now learning again how to posture myself

21:03

to be present to god rather than

21:06

orchestrating the experience to be

21:08

something so you you you want you tried

21:10

to bring those practices those spiritual

21:12

practices

21:13

into the ministry and i'm guessing that

21:15

didn't

21:16

fly well with some people there was

21:18

there was great reception towards

21:20

and for other people that was it was

21:22

concerning

21:23

uh there was concerning of introducing

21:25

meditative practices into the life of

21:27

the church

21:28

so even though the church has a has a

21:30

long long history in ancient history

21:32

with meditative practices for for some

21:35

people meditation

21:36

seemed to to hearken unto things that

21:39

are that are more eastern in nature

21:41

eastern religions and so there was a

21:43

fear that i was teaching

21:45

things that began to really introduce

21:48

people to eastern

21:49

religious practices and there are some

21:52

things that mark similarity but there

21:54

are also

21:54

things that mark i think really

21:56

uniqueness and as i did that that that

21:59

created

21:59

us for some people some some concern

22:02

for the things that i was asking people

22:05

to participate in

22:06

so frustrating was that you're finding

22:08

life finally

22:09

right you've gone through this dark

22:10

night of the soul you're finally coming

22:12

out of it

22:13

and coming alive in those very practices

22:16

and ancient traditions that you are

22:19

holding to and discovering and

22:20

finding life in are you now you're being

22:23

told you might be a heretic because of

22:24

them

22:25

yeah all i can say is it's hard

22:29

there is what marks for me the spiritual

22:31

journey that we're all on

22:33

of moving from an external authority to

22:36

a true internal

22:38

so because i i understand spirituality

22:41

as the embodiment of the godhead within

22:44

me

22:44

to learn to trust that which is god

22:47

doing in me

22:48

rather than simply the voices that are

22:50

outside of me

22:52

but as i began this journey i realized

22:54

how much

22:55

people pleasing how much relying upon

22:58

the authorities really gave me

23:01

confidence but it was a false confidence

23:05

because i never learned to trust really

23:08

what is god at work doing within me

23:12

and is that work demonstrated or shown

23:15

by

23:16

the fruit of his spirit in my life and

23:19

so that became for me

23:20

what allowed me to continue on is to say

23:24

i i see you god i see the fruit of this

23:27

spirit in my life

23:29

and so i began to trust that and moved

23:32

away from needing to please others or to

23:35

only listen to others and i'm not trying

23:37

to say that i live in a vacuum here i

23:39

still have good counsel in my own life

23:41

from

23:42

from godly people but i learned to to

23:44

move from that

23:45

over reliance or over dependence upon

23:47

what is external

23:49

to a true internal where the spirit of

23:50

god dwells

23:52

and lives within me when you refer to

23:55

the authorities

23:56

or the external things what specifically

23:58

do you have in mind

23:59

yeah well you know it can be many

24:01

different

24:02

authorities external i've always been

24:05

impressed with scholarship

24:06

so i i loved reading commentaries on

24:10

on scripture and so that trusting of

24:13

what

24:14

they were understanding about scripture

24:17

became what i presented to others

24:20

regarding what scripture is saying

24:22

and i distrusted my own sense of what is

24:24

god

24:25

speaking through this in me so

24:28

there was this reliance upon scholarship

24:30

i think there was reliance

24:32

upon a variety of authority figures that

24:35

mark our lives

24:37

both parental and in in the workplace

24:40

our pastors that we trust and again i'm

24:43

not saying these are aren't necessarily

24:45

by any means

24:46

wrong but if we never get to a place of

24:49

integrating

24:49

this this place of the spirit dwelling

24:52

in us

24:53

and and learning to trust that because

24:56

god dwells there

24:58

then we can constantly move from one

25:00

place to the next

25:01

always looking for something to say i

25:04

can trust that that's authoritative in

25:06

my life

25:08

sometimes i think people do that even

25:10

with the word of god

25:11

i think they can look at the word of god

25:13

as being authoritative and i do

25:16

but they're always looking for somebody

25:17

to tell them what the word of god

25:19

says and uh

25:22

and they take great confidence or

25:25

assurance

25:26

in this person can tell me what god's

25:29

word says

25:30

and never get to that place of saying i

25:32

have read this for myself

25:34

and this logos this living word is

25:37

speaking to me

25:39

and it it shows itself not in

25:42

everybody flying off in all these

25:44

different directions saying the bible

25:46

can mean whatever we wanted to mean

25:48

but it really shows itself in a people

25:50

who have a studied

25:51

measured and a spirit reflected posture

25:54

towards life so that's i guess if that's

25:57

helpful

25:57

to say how what were the authorities

26:00

so for the other cerebral people in the

26:03

audience like myself

26:04

what is spiritual direction can you just

26:06

define that for us

26:07

yeah great no i i love it when people

26:10

ask that

26:11

because it's i need to compare it to how

26:14

i understood my role as a pastor as a

26:16

discipler of men and women and so if

26:19

being up for me pastor and a discipler

26:22

was about

26:23

here's what i've learned and let me pass

26:26

it on to you

26:27

the learner spiritual direction says i

26:30

seek to be in a

26:31

posture of prayer with you with god

26:36

honoring the work that god is doing in

26:38

your life

26:39

i don't pretend that i know all that god

26:42

has been doing in your life

26:44

but i do want to be with you

26:47

as you are seeking to respond to the

26:49

call of faith in your life

26:51

so it's less about teaching or talking

26:54

about theology as much as what is your

26:57

experience

26:58

of your theology teaching you about

27:01

you and god and that's the hard part

27:05

because the role is not to teach even

27:08

though there's elements of teaching in

27:09

it

27:10

the goal of spiritual direction is to

27:12

help this person

27:13

honor the call of faith in their life

27:17

and and to do that through a posture of

27:19

prayer and

27:20

and listening and and being present with

27:22

somebody as they are speaking

27:24

and talking about their what is their

27:27

experience of god

27:29

yeah so what you just said has shed some

27:31

light on my next question but i want to

27:32

ask it anyway just to make it concrete

27:34

so how would you say that spiritual

27:37

direction or maybe spiritual formation i

27:39

don't know if that's an okay substitute

27:41

how would you say that is like or

27:42

different from

27:44

moral formation or moral growth growth

27:47

as a person of character

27:49

yeah so uh yeah that's that's that's a

27:52

great question

27:53

because i think there are things that

27:55

mark similarities

27:57

obviously when i think of spiritual

27:59

direction and moral

28:01

values shape our our choices

28:04

i think for me what marks spiritual

28:07

direction

28:08

from moral development is

28:12

spiritual direction ties all that

28:15

is going on to its source which is god

28:19

i don't think you necessarily have to

28:21

believe in god or be

28:22

a christian to be moral it would be good

28:24

news for all our atheist listeners

28:26

yeah plenty of people who who just look

28:30

at

28:30

human beings relating to other human

28:32

beings develop a very high standard

28:35

moral living but for me the spiritual

28:39

formation

28:40

ultimately has its source within god and

28:44

its

28:44

culmination within god and so

28:47

it sees the direction moving towards

28:50

communion with god

28:52

and so if my source and my means

28:55

and the culmination of faith is

28:57

communion with god

28:59

then living out of that communion i

29:02

believe

29:02

we reflect back upon this world

29:05

that which is from that communion

29:09

and and that is moral in nature but

29:12

it's it's not trying to be moral it's

29:15

simply

29:16

i believe drawing close to that which we

29:19

are called into communion with

29:21

or community with yeah it's not merely

29:23

moral it involves

29:25

connection with a person a divine person

29:28

in a way that morality wouldn't require

29:30

so would you say that that communion

29:33

that you're describing

29:35

what is the experiential component of

29:37

that communion

29:39

does that make sense yeah yeah that's

29:42

really great

29:44

i believe the experiential part of it

29:47

is a sense of belonging a sense of

29:51

connection

29:52

a sense of unity or of union

29:56

a sense of participation

29:59

i think all those things for me

30:03

are the overflow of

30:06

my what i believe is the communion that

30:09

i have with god

30:10

so it's it's it's a knowing god that

30:13

isn't reducible

30:15

to me to a single definition like i can

30:18

tell you

30:19

i experience love but every time i try

30:22

to produce that to say how do you

30:23

experience love from god

30:25

it makes it become really trivial to me

30:28

and and yet i i will say that i know god

30:32

and in knowing god i love god and i am

30:35

known by god and loved by god there is a

30:38

sense of connectedness that i have

30:40

that i continue to live my life

30:43

in light of that connection so that's uh

30:47

i don't know if that answers your

30:48

question it's there's there is for me

30:50

there is a mysterious element or a i

30:53

want to say a very

30:55

mystical element to all relationships

30:58

i don't know if you're a married guy but

31:00

even when you begin to say

31:02

how do you know your wife or your spouse

31:04

loves you

31:05

when you begin to reducing it to things

31:07

they do

31:09

or say all of a sudden it goes

31:12

wow it it it kind of almost trivializes

31:16

a little bit

31:17

in the same way when i when i try to

31:19

describe this with god

31:22

it it trivializes it to me when i move

31:25

into saying

31:26

too much that i know god because he

31:29

loves me and how do i know he loves me

31:31

yeah what i really like about your

31:34

answer

31:35

is is that the description that you gave

31:38

of the experiential aspect

31:40

everything you said could be embodied in

31:42

a community of humans

31:44

it could all be experienced through

31:47

other people

31:48

and nothing you said requires like

31:51

hearing god's voice

31:53

or experiencing a tangible presence of

31:55

like jesus

31:56

in your room because many christians as

31:58

you yourself experience go their whole

32:00

life without ever experiencing anything

32:01

like that

32:02

and it would be very sad if the kind of

32:05

communion you're talking about was just

32:06

unavailable to those people so i really

32:08

loved your answer actually because it

32:10

didn't require that kind of

32:11

qualitative experience great yeah mark

32:14

can i ask because

32:15

i've just been kind of listening and

32:17

coming from an evangelical background

32:20

uh you know the evangelical free church

32:22

was my my upbringing

32:24

and all of this the notion of spiritual

32:27

direction the sound it sounds beautiful

32:28

and this type of

32:30

input into one's life feels like it

32:32

could be a really necessary thread

32:34

and yet i never heard of this this

32:36

wasn't you know it was the

32:38

centrality of the word and involvement

32:41

in church and

32:42

there's there's all of the the

32:43

structures that are very familiar why

32:45

isn't this

32:46

one of them particularly in the context

32:48

of the evangelical tradition

32:50

yeah well the the evangelical churches

32:54

that is the newest kid on the block

32:56

they are the they are the the newest

32:58

branch within the long and

33:01

and uh wonderful tree of the church

33:04

and so we we are the kind of the

33:06

youngest and then even then

33:08

it has been further so there's there's

33:10

not a lot of things that that mark

33:12

what really is the evangelical tradition

33:16

uh and so uh it's not a part of what has

33:19

been

33:20

how we have practiced and yet i would

33:22

say almost intuitively

33:24

that those who both walk with god and

33:27

continue to walk with god

33:29

for a lifetime begin to be able to be

33:32

present with people in a posture not

33:34

simply of only

33:36

teaching or pointing to the same old

33:38

things we always were pointed to

33:40

but learning to help people to discern

33:43

the work of the spirit in their lives

33:45

for themselves

33:46

and and that to me ties it to something

33:49

that is very

33:50

ancient so yes it is new to

33:53

it's not within our tradition it is

33:56

curious to me though as

33:57

now i love watching what's taking place

34:00

in both seminaries and bible colleges

34:02

all over and

34:03

and so the rave when i was in both

34:06

college

34:07

and university was all about disciple

34:09

making

34:10

and now the the language is moving

34:12

towards understanding formation and

34:14

spiritual formation

34:16

and quite a few seminaries now i know

34:18

are offering coursework

34:20

in spiritual direction as part of how

34:22

they are training those who are entering

34:24

the ministry

34:25

uh so it's new you've talked about

34:28

something

34:29

you know the evangelical tradition is

34:30

the youngest as far as the way of jesus

34:33

in the last 2000 years can you trace the

34:36

thread for us

34:37

of what i would call i don't know what

34:39

you would call i'd be interested in what

34:40

you would call it but

34:41

a contemplative journey the

34:43

contemplative way

34:45

more of a mystical approach to god

34:48

in a journey with god yeah can you give

34:50

us a little bit of a framework for that

34:52

yeah yeah i don't know if i can quite do

34:54

that but i'll try to try to explain it

34:56

as

34:56

as best i can when i think of both a

34:59

contemplative spirituality or are those

35:02

who look at the world in a contemplative

35:04

way

35:04

or uh understanding spiritual formation

35:08

contemplation is is for me

35:11

i think it was richard rohr who said a

35:13

long

35:14

loving gaze at what is real

35:17

and and looking at what is real

35:21

is not just simply looking at this from

35:24

god

35:24

being most real it is that

35:27

but it's looking at other human beings

35:30

as being real

35:32

and looking at the world that we live in

35:34

as being real

35:36

so a contemplative spirituality is a

35:39

long

35:39

loving gaze at what is real

35:43

and when we do that what we find is

35:46

not our difference but our

35:49

communion with that which is real

35:53

and in finding that communion now our

35:56

posture moves from saying

35:58

i'm not about simply being present with

36:01

you

36:02

so i can convert you change you teach

36:04

you

36:05

it's so that i can practice ultimately

36:08

a form of compassion or communion with

36:12

another person

36:13

yeah before you go on i just want to

36:15

take a moment to just take that in

36:17

a long not just a long gaze but a long

36:20

loving gaze at that which is real um

36:24

because all of most of my gazes are

36:27

along judgmental gaze at something or

36:31

along critiquing gays whether it's

36:33

myself

36:34

right first and foremost in the world

36:36

around me the other political party the

36:38

other

36:38

religious traditions atheists whatever

36:41

it is it's

36:42

critiquing it's judgmental and can as i

36:44

say that as you said

36:45

a long loving gaze at that which is real

36:48

and then i think about

36:49

long critiquing gaze along

36:52

cynical gaze along judgmental gaze it

36:55

just tells me

36:56

how depleted are our souls

37:00

when something like a long-loving gaze

37:02

at that which is real seems so striking

37:04

do you know what i mean yeah it is it is

37:07

striking

37:08

it allows us to say i can be with

37:11

somebody

37:11

recognizing difference but never

37:14

separation

37:15

and that that gets tested every time we

37:18

recognize somebody has a very different

37:20

either theological view or world view

37:23

than us

37:24

is to say can i recognize there is

37:26

difference or distinction

37:28

but never separation from this person

37:31

that's that long loving gaze at what is

37:33

most real and what is most real is

37:36

however i see this person is that we

37:39

share

37:40

a great deal in common with

37:44

and uh for me that's that's the hard

37:48

work

37:49

so to speak of spiritual growth is to be

37:52

able to say

37:53

i don't always have to be right i don't

37:57

always have to be in control

37:58

and i don't have to be the one in power

38:01

because

38:01

when i think i have to be right my gaze

38:05

towards someone is judgmental or when i

38:08

have to be the one who is in control

38:10

it's because i see these things going on

38:12

and i'm going to change them

38:14

but when we learn to relinquish power

38:16

control

38:17

and even being on the right side we

38:20

begin to allow ourselves to

38:22

see other people would you stop scolding

38:24

me mark and that's enneagram eights

38:29

so i have a really hard question that's

38:32

not on

38:33

the outline we sent you we can totally

38:36

cut this out if you're unhappy with how

38:38

this goes

38:39

um but what you were just saying made me

38:41

think of it

38:42

i mean it's something i admit i

38:44

personally struggle trying to understand

38:46

it's one of the

38:47

one of really the core aspects of

38:48

christianity that i that i have a hard

38:50

time with

38:51

these days and that is how does that

38:55

i don't know if you'd want to call it an

38:56

obligation or an injunction

38:58

or something that's normative for the

39:00

christian that thing that you just

39:02

described

39:03

of relinquishing power how does that

39:05

apply

39:06

to people who are already socially

39:08

disempowered

39:10

yeah so for example there have been some

39:12

feminist philosophers

39:14

and feminist theologians who have

39:15

written about the harm

39:17

that that kind of teaching does and this

39:19

teaching is found in the scripture

39:20

itself so this is a core aspect of

39:22

christianity you can't just remove it

39:25

the harm that that does to people who

39:28

are already in a position of weakness to

39:30

be told that they have to

39:31

somehow make a virtue out of

39:35

the kind of weakness that's already been

39:36

forced upon them and give forgiveness to

39:39

the powerful

39:40

that sort of thing but this is actually

39:41

harmful the feminist theologians put it

39:44

much more eloquently but hopefully you

39:45

get the the sense of the kind of issue

39:47

that i'm struggling with here so

39:49

could you speak to that at all

39:51

everyone's that's really heavy and

39:52

difficult but

39:54

yeah let me see if i can try to what

39:56

you're asking is

39:58

to those who are disempowered right now

40:02

how does this language of seeing

40:06

in common empower them

40:09

yeah and that and also how does it avoid

40:12

continuing to disempower them

40:15

yeah yeah yeah i i don't know if i have

40:19

a great answer for

40:20

for that to be quite honest uh but i but

40:24

i like that

40:24

you're making me really think i think on

40:27

my feet

40:28

so again so much for me of

40:31

understanding spiritual growth is tied

40:34

towards this

40:35

understanding of myself within god

40:38

and in living in that place from a place

40:40

of communion

40:41

in a place of communion connected to my

40:44

source

40:45

i stand on that which is my true ground

40:48

in which i live and move and have my

40:50

being

40:53

now are there other things that as i

40:57

grow

40:57

that i have learned to stand on as well

41:02

and the answer to that is yes i've

41:04

learned to stand upon being right

41:07

of acting in power of controlling what i

41:10

can

41:12

and it to some extent for me all those

41:16

are tied to very much what is

41:20

my my ego being defined

41:24

by that which marks right or

41:27

power or control for me the spiritual

41:30

journey

41:31

in relinquishing that to finding all

41:33

that within god

41:35

doesn't mean that i don't exercise

41:39

power i just no longer default to it

41:43

or default to take control

41:46

what i do is in that place of being

41:48

within god

41:49

i recognize those who are

41:51

disenfranchised and disempowered

41:53

and i seek to do those things that would

41:55

empower them

41:57

but i know that their journey is

42:00

a similar one to mine that they too

42:03

will need to let go of power of control

42:07

and and that ability to to change things

42:11

or to be on the right side of things

42:13

if they are going to continue in the

42:15

journey

42:16

does that make sense so so there are

42:20

there are times when

42:21

my my language is really strong against

42:23

things that mark people who are

42:25

exploited

42:26

or people who are dismissed or judged to

42:30

be inferior

42:31

my language can be really strong but

42:34

it's not

42:34

just defaulting to what i used to rely

42:38

upon to say

42:39

i'm right here and you need to think

42:42

exactly like i do and you too can be

42:44

right

42:45

what i'm defaulting to instead or

42:49

seeking to is from that place of sharing

42:51

in common with all people

42:53

both empowering people stepping aside

42:57

and also at times stepping forward

43:00

and for me now that you're saying this i

43:02

think the the imagery for me

43:04

is is is of christ because

43:07

it says that that all authority had been

43:09

given to him by god

43:11

to lay down his life

43:14

and to take it back up again and so the

43:17

call

43:18

for all of us in who follow in his

43:20

footsteps is to say what does it mean to

43:22

lay this down

43:24

and what does it mean to take it back up

43:26

again but when we lay it down

43:29

we're laying it down from a place of

43:33

of seeking or reflecting communion with

43:35

him

43:36

and when we pick it back up this life we

43:38

do it from a place of communion

43:41

with god as well so it has allowed me to

43:44

to be more courageous at times than i

43:47

ever have been in my life

43:49

and it has allowed me to be silent at

43:51

times

43:52

and i don't need to say anything whereas

43:55

both of those

43:57

being bold i would have said that's

43:59

going to tell everybody

44:00

what i think and how i'm right and

44:02

that's going to really make me an

44:04

important person

44:06

some of that i've had to let go of in

44:08

fact all of that i've tried to let go of

44:10

in some sense

44:12

mark uh switching directions a little

44:13

bit um i know firsthand that you use

44:16

the enneagram as part of your spiritual

44:18

direction practice

44:19

why is that yeah yeah great yeah i love

44:22

this question

44:23

really that you ask why and also i

44:25

suppose what is it for for listeners

44:27

that might not be familiar

44:29

yeah an oversimplification of it if the

44:31

enneagram

44:32

is is a tool that helps us to understand

44:35

ourselves

44:36

one of the one of the things that has

44:37

historically been a part of the church

44:39

the early church on to the present day

44:41

is how

44:42

a knowledge of self is actually a

44:46

complementary means for understanding

44:48

god

44:49

or understanding something of god not

44:51

all of god but something of god

44:53

augustine said oh lord grant me that i

44:56

would know myself

44:58

that i may know the and you go oh wow he

45:01

was saying something really

45:02

profound there about knowing ourselves

45:05

and you see that all throughout the

45:07

church that a strong

45:09

self-awareness a strong knowledge of who

45:13

i am

45:14

corresponds to an awareness of god

45:17

they're complementary they go together

45:20

and that makes sense when we understand

45:22

that we are imago dei when we are made

45:24

in his image created in his image

45:26

that something by even just looking at

45:28

how human beings interact

45:30

is going to say something true of god so

45:33

why i like the enneagram is because i

45:36

believe it

45:36

helps us to become aware of how we

45:39

act how we think how we feel

45:43

and it does it by shining i think four

45:46

kind of lenses

45:48

on an individual and it asks you to look

45:51

through those lenses when you look at

45:53

yourself

45:54

and so if the first lens that we can

45:55

look at in a four-pane window

45:58

is the lens of what everybody sees when

46:00

they look at you

46:02

and what you see when you present

46:04

yourself to others

46:06

the enneagram helps you to see how you

46:08

present yourself to others

46:10

and how others generally see you but

46:13

there's another pain that we don't often

46:15

like to look at

46:16

and that is that pain that window pain

46:19

or that lens that says

46:21

uh these are things that i'm blind to in

46:23

my life

46:25

that i don't see about me but others do

46:29

see in me if you're familiar with the

46:31

navigators ministry dawson trotman said

46:34

years ago

46:35

to his co-workers when he was founding

46:37

the navigators if you could tell me one

46:39

true thing about me

46:41

and you were assured that i wouldn't get

46:43

defensive what would you tell me about

46:45

me

46:46

and he asked it with a great deal of

46:48

humility and i loved it because he's

46:50

trying to get at that idea of

46:52

what he was blind to because he

46:56

recognized that there are things that

46:58

mark his life that he's blind to

47:00

well that's the first there's the open

47:02

lens the the blind lens there's also a

47:04

third lens and that's the things that we

47:07

hide

47:07

about ourselves that we know about us

47:10

that other people don't see

47:12

we don't let them see it and then the

47:15

fourth lens is the lens that really

47:17

marks our undergoing that we may not

47:21

even have language for

47:22

that is still unknown to us what the

47:25

enneagram helps us to do

47:27

is to see ourselves in all those lenses

47:30

things that we're blind to things that

47:32

we're open to and things that we hide

47:35

and begin to dialogue with somebody on

47:38

those

47:39

as a way of understanding the self

47:42

and knowing ultimately god that's why i

47:45

love the enneagram

47:47

it's not a it's not a a pick-me-up type

47:50

look at yourself it has you understand

47:53

yourself not in terms of just simply

47:54

your virtue

47:56

but also the other side of it your vice

47:59

and explore that in a way that's largely

48:02

i think non-judgmental but helps you to

48:05

see yourself accurately

48:07

well i took it yesterday and i feel

48:09

great about myself

48:12

it told me i'm inquisitive and

48:14

investigative

48:15

and funny it was great be a five

48:20

how'd you know uh

48:24

so kyle is a

48:27

proud skeptic and uh hater of the

48:30

enemies

48:32

it's just a fact that i am a skeptic so

48:34

before before he fires

48:35

fires a few uh shots at it let me ask

48:39

this is just an observation tell me if

48:40

you think i'm right mark but there seems

48:42

to be a lot of

48:43

pop culture enneagram engagement and by

48:46

that i mean there's all these free

48:49

assessments out there that may or may

48:50

not be good and then you learn your

48:52

number and it's cool and it's a

48:54

conversation piece but that's all you

48:55

ever do with it

48:56

and there's it's this very shallow

48:58

experience with the enneagram

49:00

is that actually can that be destructive

49:04

rather than actually doing it yeah well

49:06

i you know i

49:07

i guess i'm kind of in favor of of any

49:10

tool that helps us to understand

49:11

ourselves

49:12

okay so whether it's the myers-briggs or

49:15

a disc test or strength finders or any

49:17

number of different tests

49:18

i love those things that raise our level

49:21

of awareness

49:22

so the the the danger for me of the

49:25

of the of of what i see popularized

49:28

right now with the enneagram

49:29

is people are defining themselves by

49:32

their number

49:33

uh and what the enneagram really at its

49:35

core is trying to say is

49:37

you know you're you're this number but

49:40

you're not this number

49:42

you are actually something more all

49:45

right

49:45

and so to be in that place of imago day

49:49

of created new in christ is to step into

49:53

that

49:54

so what the enneagram will show you

49:58

is not only how you have learned to

50:01

navigate

50:01

life but also how you're limited by it

50:06

and if you are to continue in this

50:09

journey

50:09

of growth in your life at some points

50:12

you have to

50:13

address those ways that it limits you

50:17

and uh i love it for its dialogue

50:20

so you know do i do you have to use it

50:23

no i just love it as a tool that helps

50:25

me to

50:26

to talk to people about three core

50:28

passions

50:29

and to do that without judgment and so

50:31

to talk to people about

50:33

anger anxiety and fear

50:36

wow and and to do that freely is

50:39

one of the things that i love about it

50:43

i think randy wants me to tear into you

50:44

now no i don't want you to tear into him

50:47

i love mark too much but do you have any

50:48

questions kyle

50:51

um believe it or not randy i hate to

50:53

disappoint you here but as mark has just

50:54

presented this

50:55

i have no objections actually i actually

50:59

really respect this

51:00

um yeah i'm skeptical about other

51:02

aspects of it but you haven't exhibited

51:05

or

51:05

asserted any of those aspects and so uh

51:08

i don't have any direct

51:09

uh objections to you and i don't want to

51:11

necessarily turn the podcast into uh

51:13

say what's wrong with the enneagram in

51:14

general yeah

51:16

i mean it's a tool and i i use it as

51:20

a as a tool for dialoguing the question

51:22

for me is

51:23

often when you talk to people uh

51:26

about themselves the human capacity to

51:30

be deceptive

51:31

to to not look honestly at ourselves is

51:34

is pretty profound and so sometimes it's

51:37

nice to have

51:38

a little bit of a tool that can say you

51:41

know that this core

51:42

quality or core passion for five six and

51:46

sevens on the enneagram is fear

51:48

i'm wondering where you have fear in

51:50

your life or how much fear is directing

51:53

your desire to get more

51:56

yeah and so long as so long as in in an

51:59

exchange like that

52:00

the person is free to get to a place

52:03

where they

52:04

recognize that there isn't any fear so

52:07

long as that is

52:08

still a legitimate option that's on the

52:09

table then i'm okay with it

52:12

it's not like the let me give you an

52:13

example of what i would not be okay with

52:15

the sort of church context that i used

52:18

to exist in

52:20

within a certain kind of pentecostal

52:21

form of evangelicalism

52:24

any time someone exhibited something

52:26

other than what was viewed as

52:27

the paradigm of faith and and

52:31

and often there were evidences that were

52:32

supposed to go along with that like your

52:33

life was supposed to exhibit certain

52:35

characteristics if you were faithful

52:37

and then if they didn't exhibit those

52:38

characteristics there was something

52:39

wrong with you

52:40

and all of the focus of the church then

52:42

was to figure out what it was that you

52:44

did wrong

52:45

why you don't have enough faith in these

52:46

specific concrete ways etc

52:48

so the kind of abuse that i see in the

52:51

area of this

52:52

this aspect of the enneagram could be

52:54

that if i

52:55

as a five don't actually see any fear in

52:59

my life

53:00

then i should be allowed to just move on

53:03

without trying to find where the fear is

53:04

you know what i mean

53:05

yeah exactly and even when i look at the

53:08

role of spiritual direction but the role

53:09

of spiritual direction is not to create

53:11

fear

53:12

it but it is to say okay when there is

53:14

fear how are you responding to it

53:17

how do how when when you name your fears

53:21

or your desires to god

53:22

how do you hear god speaking or how do

53:24

you sense god leading

53:26

uh in light of those fears or desires so

53:30

my whole interaction with it is to say

53:32

if it's not broken don't fix it

53:34

i mean if it's broken let's let's

53:35

address it so

53:37

what is your experience of god what is

53:39

your experience of

53:41

of really your theology where is it

53:44

taken to you

53:45

and if it's taking you to good and

53:46

wonderful and high and beautiful places

53:49

super yeah but if it's also taking you

53:52

to a place of of sometimes

53:53

feeling trapped stuck

53:57

not free at some point we have to

54:00

to say to continue this journey we have

54:02

to address that

54:04

what's interesting kyle is that

54:07

if you have asked me a year ago before i

54:09

encountered the enneagram and received

54:10

spiritual direction

54:12

um what are what's my main areas of

54:13

brokenness i would have

54:16

listed a few areas that were obvious

54:18

that are

54:19

you know i would have mentioned you know

54:22

lust or maybe i have a few too many

54:24

drinks sometimes

54:25

or you know whatever the standard i

54:28

swear

54:29

i have a struggle with that you don't

54:31

struggle with it you're great at it

54:33

thank you yeah yeah very proficient

54:36

but i would not have mentioned anger as

54:39

as a main primary area of brokenness i

54:42

would have said i'm a very loving person

54:44

actually

54:45

now i can get a little hot but no i'm a

54:48

loving person

54:49

and what i've discovered in this

54:52

year-long journey

54:53

that is just the beginning is that

54:56

probably my main area of brokenness is

54:58

anger

54:58

and i just wasn't aware of it and i'm

55:00

becoming more and more aware of it

55:02

and i see it more and more and it's so

55:04

blaring so damn obvious

55:06

you know now that but i would have never

55:08

i would have never

55:09

seen it and now i can actually see and

55:12

sense and

55:13

feel and hear invitations out of it even

55:16

in the moment when i'm giving myself to

55:18

it so

55:18

i will say even if it doesn't feel like

55:20

maybe fear is a thing

55:22

air it out let it let it let it come to

55:24

the surface a little bit sure

55:26

yeah so to be clear i'm not claiming

55:27

that i have no fear in my life right

55:29

there might be some that's subconscious

55:30

or whatever

55:31

i'm just make using that as an

55:32

illustration of i don't want to shoehorn

55:35

people into you have to find this

55:36

specific thing about you or you're

55:38

missing something right

55:39

yeah yeah and and and and the goal of

55:42

that then would be able to try to help

55:44

that person in spiritual direction to

55:46

understand

55:47

and see some things that mark patterns

55:50

of how they are relating to others

55:52

relating to god

55:53

relating to this world that you can now

55:56

say okay what is that bringing to you

55:59

and where also may it be limiting you

56:02

yeah uh because it's it's not hard to

56:04

look at any of the nine

56:06

virtues that make up the enneagram and

56:09

and go wow those are really good things

56:13

so you call them virtues that's

56:14

interesting in most of my

56:16

admittedly brief research um they're

56:19

they're variously

56:20

called i mean sometimes virtues but more

56:22

often than not they're called

56:23

just types they can be good or bad in

56:25

various circumstances and sometimes

56:27

they're called sins

56:28

yeah yeah so it's just really

56:31

interesting how people approach it so

56:32

differently

56:33

yeah and and so for me my when i was

56:36

trained with it

56:37

to be in the image of god is to be able

56:39

to say that god

56:40

there is a moral nature that marks being

56:42

human

56:44

and so how do we see that manifested in

56:46

those nine

56:47

virtues and why there are nine that's

56:49

that's a complicated thing why

56:51

sure it's an interesting thing but it is

56:54

you're right complicated but to be able

56:55

to say there are virtues that market but

56:58

but to be able to see our virtue and and

57:00

we've known this

57:02

intuitively that the thing that often

57:03

marks our strengths

57:05

is often our weakness as well are we

57:08

able to face that

57:10

in my in my life i i would never have

57:13

told you that i was an

57:15

anxious person i would have told you

57:18

that i'm practicing

57:19

self-control and that's how i kind of

57:21

always got through

57:23

when i felt anxious i always use the

57:25

energy of my anxiety

57:27

to do something remarkable or to attempt

57:30

to do something remarkable

57:32

but i was not aware of my own sense that

57:35

what i'm experiencing here

57:36

is anxiety and then the deeper reality

57:39

of that anxiety was

57:41

how much i relied upon both people

57:43

pleasing

57:44

or people telling me i have value to

57:47

know how to navigate life

57:49

and even to be able to go back to what

57:51

you initially asked me randy

57:52

of when those things that we have

57:56

used throughout our life to tell us who

57:58

we are

57:59

all of a sudden get exposed

58:02

then we have to ask the question well

58:04

who am i really

58:06

and to me that's when we step into the

58:08

true ground of our being within god

58:13

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yourself for visiting story hill bkc

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local one more time that's

58:48

storyhillbkc.com

58:51

so mark as we wrap up this time together

58:54

i want to turn

58:55

towards our listeners two things what

58:57

are just a couple of practices

58:58

disciplines ways methods

59:02

that anybody can use to to kind of

59:05

become more aware of our inner lives and

59:07

our soul and care for our soul and

59:09

become aware of our soul even

59:11

what would you say yeah i think one of

59:13

the first ones is

59:15

to recognize how beautifully and

59:16

wonderfully we are designed by god

59:19

just in living uh in a body on this

59:22

planet

59:23

and so learning to pay attention to

59:25

ourselves in the body

59:26

is a wonderful exercise and a spiritual

59:30

practice that anybody can practice

59:32

at any time during the day and to do

59:35

that is to just allow ourselves to be

59:37

still

59:38

and to pay attention and this time we're

59:41

paying attention to

59:43

and if we could just put it into three

59:44

categories just for the sake of

59:46

simplicity

59:48

what is my body sensing what am i

59:52

feeling and what am i thinking

59:56

there is a reality that all of us go

59:58

through every day

60:00

sensing thinking and feeling but we

60:02

don't recognize the speed at which we

60:05

move through a sensation or a feeling

60:08

into a thought and how they give either

60:11

stimulus or birth to the other

60:14

and so the simple practice of slowing

60:16

down

60:17

and paying attention to our bodies what

60:20

am i sensing on my body right now

60:23

i i love the idea of just simply

60:26

recognizing that i have

60:28

five senses and what are the senses

60:30

experiencing right now

60:32

and seeing that as a spiritual practice

60:35

that god has gifted me with senses

60:38

but then to know where my thoughts begin

60:41

to drift towards when i become aware of

60:43

my senses where they begin to focus on

60:46

and does that thought create a feeling

60:50

and then when you have that sensation

60:52

that thought and that feeling

60:54

to learn to just be that with god and

60:57

ask god what's that about

60:59

and as you learn to do that you'll be

61:01

surprised at

61:03

how much god i believe leans

61:07

and pushes and and prompts within you

61:11

regarding the things that are really

61:13

vital to living life

61:14

well so that's that's one that i would

61:17

say is learn to pay attention to your

61:19

own

61:20

life in the body that god has given to

61:22

you it's good it's really good yeah

61:24

i found myself today even

61:27

i had we had our staff meeting today and

61:30

i was

61:30

a little bit overwhelmed by all the

61:32

things on my to-do list and all the

61:33

things that i have to

61:34

you know weeks down the road think of

61:36

and plan for and found myself getting

61:38

very anxious and my thoughts were

61:42

bouncing around it was i felt

61:44

schizophrenic but having the practice of

61:48

being able to

61:49

slow pause breathe

61:53

releasing those things and then even

61:57

being able to take a walk and do a

61:58

checklist of no that's okay

62:00

and oh no that'll be that'll be fine to

62:03

be able to

62:04

still and be aware of what's going on

62:06

inside is just

62:08

that's that's a that's a fun time that's

62:10

yeah and that's really

62:12

an interesting thing randy because you

62:13

know if a person is extroverted and

62:16

feels

62:16

overwhelmed generally they let people

62:19

know around them

62:21

they verbalize that they bring that into

62:23

the external world

62:24

whereas an introvert maybe say you know

62:27

uh

62:28

i'm feeling overwhelmed and nobody needs

62:30

to know that

62:31

but the key is are we aware

62:34

that that's what we're experiencing all

62:37

right

62:38

so that this this patterned response of

62:40

when i

62:41

overwhelm here's what i do i'm learning

62:44

to say

62:45

oh i have more than one choice here

62:48

i i can actually be aware of it and move

62:50

to do something that reflects i think

62:52

being in step with the spirit of god

62:55

and i love that you were able to do that

62:57

yeah so as we finish our time

62:59

mark you usually begin and end our times

63:03

with what you call spiritual direction

63:04

where you're

63:06

directing me to calm and still myself

63:09

could you do that for us right now

63:13

yeah so it's a it's a stilling prayer or

63:16

a centering prayer

63:17

and if you'd let me do that with you i'd

63:19

like to do that

63:20

and so what i'm going to ask you to do

63:22

is first just to be really comfortable

63:24

in your chair with your your feet on the

63:26

floor

63:27

and then to close your eyes

63:33

and then to allow yourself to take a

63:35

deep stilling

63:36

or a centering breath

63:40

to breathe deeply

63:49

and as you are breathing to let your

63:52

breath be an affirmation

63:57

of your life

64:01

and that god wants you here

64:13

and so as you breathe to hold

64:15

thankfulness

64:16

for that breath and for your life

64:29

and as you are breathing to pay

64:31

attention to the life that god has given

64:33

you

64:33

in this body

64:37

and what your body is sensing right now

64:41

and if there's any places of tension or

64:43

tightness

64:46

or even pain

64:51

to not to push that away

64:55

but to connect your breath to your body

64:59

and just allow those places to come to

65:01

ease

65:02

or to be relaxed

65:13

and sometimes it's easier

65:17

to steal our body and much harder

65:21

to steal our thoughts

65:27

and so just for this moment i want to

65:30

ask you

65:33

just to allow your thoughts to be either

65:35

handed over to god

65:42

or to allow them just to move on

65:46

and to let it be enough to be still

65:50

before god with nothing to fix

65:55

nothing to solve

66:05

and if you find yourself your thoughts

66:07

taking

66:08

captive again and running in a certain

66:10

direction just

66:11

gently allow yourself to focus in on

66:14

your breath

66:20

and to be thankful

66:38

amen amen

66:42

oh man we were planning to do record

66:44

another episode after this but i may

66:46

just go to bed now

66:50

it's a remarkable thing that even when

66:53

they've done study on on the human body

66:55

and what is

66:56

actually it begins to produce when when

66:58

thankfulness is held

67:00

within the heart that there's actually

67:02

healing agencies and serotonin and

67:05

all these beautiful things that begin to

67:07

circulate through your body

67:09

because you held thankfulness and so

67:12

it's just not a mind thing

67:14

it's it's a reality of embodied

67:16

spirituality that we can move into the

67:18

presence of god and be thankful

67:20

and that can have wonderful i think

67:23

healing effects on our own bodies

67:26

good well mark werner

67:30

thank you so much for taking time and

67:31

joining us and letting me share you with

67:33

our listeners

67:34

it's been a pleasure yeah well thank you

67:37

for letting me be here with you guys

67:38

it's it's been

67:39

been fun for me i was a little anxious

67:42

about

67:43

how how this was gonna go but you guys

67:45

made it pretty delightful

67:46

thank you thanks for spending this time

67:49

with us we really hope that you're

67:51

enjoying these conversations as much as

67:53

we are

67:54

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68:10

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68:12

philosopher

68:13

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68:24

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68:26

philosopher

68:26

walk into a bar