Katherine Thompson, practising psychologist and academic, is Australia’s Christian mindfulness expert. She draws on the rich Christian tradition to present Christian mindfulness exercises which help us slow down, connect to what is happening inside ourselves and make space to listen for God’s guidance in everyday life.
Our Place in Perspective
Being in nature, looking out across a valley from the top of a hill, sitting in the middle of a forest, or walking along a beach, places our life in perspective. We are small and fragile compared to the power of the ocean waves or a wild storm. Nature reminds us that life is precious and fragile, and that:
Stop what you're doing and fill up on the breath of life
Enjoying the world around you is easy. Just ask my cat
You can be breathing better in just one minute
All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like the flower of grass; the grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever (1 Peter 1:24-25).
Creation shows us that God is sovereign and powerful, but the paradox is that we are still much loved and cared for. Jesus said:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7).
It is possible to hold these two things in tension; the brevity of our life, and how God loves and cares for us as individuals. Reflecting on these two ideas is both grounding and comforting.
Connect to the Spirit of God
Find a quiet place in nature on your own.
Sit still and use the quiet part of your mind to focus on what you can:
Be open to God and what he might be saying to you during this time. If your mind gets caught up in thoughts, remember this is normal and to be expected. When you notice this happens, try to refocus on just observing your environment. Be open to God’s creation.
Spend some time thanking God for the things you perceive around you.
Katherine Thompson, practising psychologist and academic, is Australia’s Christian mindfulness expert. Christ-Centred Mindfulness is available at Koorong.