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A spiritual “aha” moment

DSC00480Summer wouldn’t be complete for me without a trip (or two) to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. I love the waterfront cottages, the crystal clear water, and the warm breezes. And I love the drive there almost as much. The road weaves through rolling hills as it passes small towns, vineyards, and farms.

I was reminded of the beauty of the Finger Lakes when I picked up this month’s issue of Guideposts magazine.  In it was an article written by Pauline Weaver of Penn Yan, New York—a town in the heart of the region.

Unfortunately, Pauline wasn’t focused in the article on the beauty of her surroundings. Instead she described how she and her husband, Kenny, had struggled to make a go of their 120 acre dairy farm. Drought on their land had withered their crops and dried up their water supply. Sickness in their herd reduced the number of productive cows by close to half. A high bacteria count in the milk meant that Pauline and Kenny lost their contract to sell it.

Pauline also described how she and Kenny saw their situation very differently. Throughout it all, Kenny had kept a positive outlook. His faith was strong and he believed that God would bless their farm. Pauline thought Kenny could use a dose of realism.

Then in a flash of clarity Pauline saw her husband in a new light. Suddenly she saw his faith as a virtue, and as a result she had faith too—a faith that would sustain her in the months and years to come.

(Click here to read Pauline’s story of her spiritual “aha” moment.)

AHA! The Spiritual Practice of Insight

"aha" moments can help you along your spiritual path, say self-help book author Donna Hartney, Ph.D.I found as I analyzed the stories of life-changing insights for my book , The AHA! Handbook, that pivotal realizations have the power to impact any and all areas of a person’s life—career, health and well-being, relationships, spiritual life.

That last category, spiritual life, has been on my mind recently. Buddy Hubbard (the pastor of my church) and I are beginning a 5-week discussion series tomorrow on insight as a spiritual practice.

I was surprised when Buddy suggested the discussion series. When I asked him why, he said, “When I think of tapping into God’s wisdom for us, I immediately think of contemplative prayer. Yet, there are so many additional ways available to us, and insight is one that can be so valuable in our lives.”

In the discussion series we will be homing in on three questions:

  1. How can the experience of insight help you along your spiritual path?
  2. What do we know about insights and how to trigger them?
  3. What can you do proactively to prime yourself for insights that can have a profound impact on your spiritual life?

If you’re in this part of the world, you’re more than welcome to join us! Sunday, April 7 – May 12, 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. in the lounge of the First Presbyterian Church at 9 Paine Street, East Aurora, New York.