This week we are exploring questions like: How are you connected to God? How do you draw near to God? What fills/inspire you?
Gary Thomas wrote a book called Sacred Pathways where he explores 9 different ways that he’s noted that people use to draw near to God. Read it through carefully and then explore the questions below.
Gary Thomas’s 9 Pathways:
• the Naturalist who is most inspired to draw near to God out-of-doors by being in a natural setting/nature.
• the Sensate who draws near to God with the senses — through awareness of taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound.
• the Traditionalist who draws near to God through ritual and symbol.
• the Ascetic who prefers to draw near to God in solitude and simplicity.
• the Activist who draws near to God through contributing toward justice and the enhancement of life in the world.
• the Caregiver who draws God by loving others and caring for them in a special way.
• the Enthusiast who draws near to God with mystery and celebration. (The term ‘enthusiast’ is derived from a Greek root-word which means God-filled.)
• the Contemplative who draws near to God through contemplation/thinking.
• the Intellectual who draws near to God with the mind/study.
Which one could you identify with the most? What other Pathways would you add to the list? Thinking back upon your life, where have you felt closest to God?
EXERCISE: This week, use the Pathways as inspiration, and set aside 2 different times in your week to draw near to God. Use the 1 for connecting to God in a way that you usually feel close to Him. Use the other time to draw near to God in a way that you do not usually use.