We’ve surveyed the most well-known of the Classical Spiritual Practices, but there is much more to be said on the subject of Spiritual Practices because the Classics are not the only ones. There is a whole different category of spiritual practices, many of which have been going on for as long as the Classics have, but that are seldom discussed as such: The Expressive Practices.
To be honest with you, I’ve never heard or read anyone saying why the expressive practices aren’t often taught, but if I were to venture a guess, it would have something to do with the fact that many of these involve talents, not to mention spiritual gifts, that not everyone has, yet this view overlooks the fact that there are a great many types of expressive practice that don’t require a special gift or talent.
An Expressive Spiritual Practice is a practice in which we draw closer to God by expressing our relationship with Him, to His glory.
As you might imagine, these practices are usually shared with others, either in practice or by result. When you come right down to it, I can’t possibly tell you that I will presume to cover all of them, for the possibilities are endless when you take into consideration the fact that our God created each one of us to be both precious as His child, and unique in our personalities and imaginations.
It could very well be that this is also why the subject isn’t much taught or written about. Maybe my willingness to try comes from the fact that writing about things that glorify God is one of my expressive spiritual practices. Since most of the people who read these posts write Christian blogs, I might venture a guess that a great many of you share in this one too.
So, we can begin a preliminary list of expressive spiritual practices with writing, and to that we can add art, music, architecture, building, craftsmanship, gardening, cooking, hospitality, ministry, teaching, scholarship, acting, dance, presence… it goes on and on.
Here’s the catch: Just because we do one these things, say, as a hobby, or even as a profession, doesn’t make it a spiritual practice. What makes these things a spiritual practice is when it is done to bring us closer to God by expressing His glory in our relationships with Him.