Today will be a quieter day, leaning in to the spaciousness of the weekend as I lean into a space of family and rest.
I'm finding that my energy determines the type of Examen I engage. The guided audio examens work best when I'm energized and leaning into calm. The written examens fit those times when I feel overstimulated, the mind buzzing with thoughts, and I am able to use the questions to organize my thoughts and put the pieces of my day together. I let my energy guide me to the examen I need.
Now, today I want to bring you a few simple thoughts on silence and sheep.
“In the silence of the heart You speak, and it is there that I will know You and You know me.” Words by Audrey Assad, sent to us from my Spiritual Director. This is a beautiful song to hold close this weekend whether our days are filled with activity or quiet and restful. Either way, let our examen time be that moment where we can listen in on the dialog of our souls.
This quiet restful moment brings us to sheep. I recently learned that they can’t digest their food unless they are lying down, but the problem is they don’t seem to have a natural instinct to lie down. They would rather eat all day. So the shepherd has to regularly make them stop and digest. All they want to do is wander through the meadow chewing the next blade of grass, but this isn’t what’s best for them. Their bodies aren't able to process the day's nourishment unless they stop.
It’s the same for us: When we stop to digest our day, our souls are restored. We are nourished by the experiences of our day, given a better understanding of ourselves and others, and can listen to the whispers (or cries) of our soul and Spirit. But if we don't stop we won't be able to take in the nourishment.
So, as you're settling into your examen time tonight, remember that this is a moment of nourishment, of digestion—the pause your soul needs to be refreshed and ready for another day.
Those familiar words from Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.