The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Making it up as we go along

That's how we express love for God and keep the lines open

There’s a scene in the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy and Marion are hiding from the Nazis. Marion asks, “Do you have a plan?”

Indy replies, “No, I’m just making it up as I go along.”

We remembered that scene as we prepared to write this last “Spiritual Practices” column for The Lutheran. Six years ago when we began this adventure, we admitted that having grown up Protestant—Frederic, Lutheran, and Mary Ann, Methodist—we were a little suspicious of spiritual practices.

We worried that our efforts might be taken as “works righteousness,” as if we needed to earn God’s love through our efforts instead of experiencing God’s love through grace.

Looking to our marriage for insights into the purpose of practices, we realized that we do things for each other not because we have to but because we love each other. Similarly, we do practices to express our love for God. Just as in our relationship, we keep the lines of communication open. We do practices to keep the lines open to God.

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