Friday, August 17, 2007

Book Report – Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas

NCBC’s Sr Hi youth Pastor Mark Forstrom recommend and preached (he called the message: Different ways to worship) on this book recently in “Big Church” for Sr Hi Sunday. I must say this was a very spiritually eye opening book for me as I discovered “words” to explain how I enjoy worshiping and bring glory to my Lord. Gary Thomas shares in his book Sacred Pathways nine different spiritual temperaments (pathways) that one could have. No one will have all of them (in fact some pathways can irritate some and excite others) but we could have a number of them. I discovered that three of these pathways really are strong in my life while the other six aren’t. I’ll share those three and what they mean to me. I highly recommend to everyone to read this book and get an idea of what your spiritual pathways could be.

My biggest “AH HA!” moment came late in reading this book. I knew that I enjoy thinking through (contemplating) different parts of God. I have found myself off-and-on in my life just staring at a wall or a tree contemplating Him. But I didn’t really understand that it was part of my wiring and really I thought I was wasting my time. But as I read through Gary’s chapter on contemplatives - ideas of what I’ve done in the past really started to stand out to me. I got excited that God might have made me to contemplate Him with a passion deep inside me. “Time is one of the best gifts we can give God, and contemplatives want to give God plenty.” I’m realizing that I get energized and am able to do much more for Him when I get to give Him my time – a complete focus on Him. I’m really looking forward to contemplating Him more and not think that I’m wasting time.

My second pathway was the one, when I started to read this book, I thought would be my #1 pathway. I love to care for others – I’ve been a caregiver almost all my life. When I was in the military I was a supply guy and I really enjoyed helping my fellow soldiers get what they needed to do their jobs. I’ve found that as a middle school pastor for IMPACT I get to do that even more. Just this week I found out that a family needed some school supplies for their kids and I was more than excited about helping them.

Another “AH HA!” moment (as I read the book) is my third pathway – I’m a sensate. I like to enjoy my Lord with my five senses. I’ve found myself physically moving to music when I’m listening to something I like. I’ve had a heighten since of God’s work in man and in his creation when a wonderful steak is cooking on the grill. I have found myself just enjoying God’s beauty around me weather I’m in the woods or on my computer. “Using our bodies to glorify God is a much better response than denying the role of the body in worship,..” I want to give God my all and I’ve realized that I can do that with my senses.

“By worshiping God according to the way he made us, we are affirming his work as Creator.” These three pathways are useful in helping me realize how I can better bring God maximum worship and glory by understand how He wired me. I’m excited about what these pathways can do in my life to help me bring God more glory.


Andy Jack said...

Have you ever thought of using this with middle school kids? I'm working through it right now with my student leadership team. It's been an amazing exercise!

Mark E. Eades said...

Hey Andy,

Thanks for posting a comment. No I haven't thought about useing the pathways for MSers. Not sure how it would look or work. Gary Thomas sure does make you think.

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