#213 – Nerdy Spiritual Disciplines
Yesterday I wrote about my desire to form a habit of spending time in God’s word. Reading the Bible is one of the most foundational spiritual disciplines. To varying degrees it should play a role in the life of every follower of Jesus.
A lot of followers of Jesus, though, are nerds and need some nerdier disciplines to go along with the more traditional ones. Check out some nerdy spiritual disciplines below.
The point of spiritual disciplines is to become more like Christ. So what better way to become more like Christ than to cosplay as Jesus? The best cosplayers are the ones who commit themselves to the role. Committing to cosplaying as Jesus could be one of the most fruitful nerdy spiritual disciplines. Imagine spending a whole day dressed as Jesus, so committed to the role that you loved your enemies, spent time with the Father and sought justice for poor. Really committing would also involve adherence to Jewish dietary laws, but sacrificing a bacon cheeseburger to be more like Jesus would be totally worth it. Maybe.
“Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars!” – Job 22:12
“Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars.” – Psalm 148:3
The Bible is filled with passages about the stars. Most of us living in urban and suburban areas, though, have a hard time seeing what is so special about the night sky. When looking at a sky washed out by city glow, God’s promise to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky isn’t very impressive. But an unimpeded night sky is very impressive. On mission trips to Mexico the night sky exploded with stars, more than I could possibly ever manage to count. With a sky like that, God’s promise takes on a whole new meaning. And the opportunity to obsess over the stars and planets provides a perfect spiritual discipline for nerds. Learning about different stars, other planets and the sheer size of the universe is enough to compel any nerd to praise their Creator.
Settlers of Canaan
I made the discovery of Settlers of Canaan a couple months ago and my head almost exploded. It’s an officially licensed Settlers of Catan game, not some shoddy knock-off. There are priests instead of knights, the plague instead of the thief and players can contribute to building the wall of Jerusalem. I once wrote about a way to make a more Christian Catan, but Settlers of Canaan tops every idea I had. Nerds love playing elaborate board games and Settlers of Canaan is not only a game, but an opportunity to learn more about the nation of Israel. Every time someone plays a priest, that player should have to read a passage out of Leviticus. Or every time someone rolls a seven and places the plague, that player should have to name his or her favorite plague against the Egyptians. For the record mine is fiery hail.
Nerds need to grow spiritually, too, and some of these nerdy disciplines could really assist that process. While a foundation of traditional and time-tested disciplines would be best, we have the freedom to build upon that foundation with other ways to connect with God.
What helps you connect with God?