the good way

Spiritual Location Exercise

Session 3 • Sabbath • Devotional

Sabbath provides us with a great opportunity to linger in God’s presence in a more slow and leisurely way. We can also use the time to become more aware of how we are doing and to notice what is going on under the surface of our lives.

This exercise helps us to notice our lives in a systematic way. You can use the audio if you would like to be guided through this exercise, pausing anytime you would like additional time to reflect, or you can move through each section by yourself. You’ll need to have a journal and a pen handy because you will be writing your responses down.

Before we begin, keep in mind the following:

• Avoid self-editing, just notice what immediately comes up without self-judgement.

• In your written responses, try to confine it to short, concise sentences

• You don’t have to explain or justify: “I think this because …” or “I feel this way because …” You also won’t have to share this so be really honest and unfiltered. This is just between you and God.

• Distinguish clearly between thoughts and feelings, and also pay attention to the distinction between desire and a sense of duty, maybe notice where you feel a sense of being drawn or where you sense a drivenness.

First Movement

Givens / Facts of my life

Write down the facts of your life. These are the things that no-one could argue with.


I like in Brooklyn, I work at…, I have two children.

“Lord, help me to see the undeniable realities of my life.”

Preoccupations of my Mind

Notice and write down what you have spent considerable time thinking about.


I’ve been trying to figure out how to spend my time, I’ve been thinking about my friend who is sick.

“Lord, give me the grace to notice what has occupied my mind.”

Movements of my Heart

Notice and write down what your dominant emotions have been. How have you mostly been feeling?


I’ve been feeling anxious about money, I’ve felt angry towards my roommate, I’ve been feeling grateful for nice weather.

“Lord, give me the grace to notice and name my prevalent emotions.”

Condition of my Body

Notice and write down how your body seems particularly right now.


I’m feeling tired, my skin feels very dry, I’m noticing tension in my neck, I feel like I have more energy today.

“Lord, give me the grace to notice the condition of my body.”


Notice and write down the questions you are holding right now that you would like God to answer.


When will this pass? Where are you in the midst of this God? When should I apply for another job?

“Lord, give me the grace to notice the questions I am carrying.”


Notice and write down the longings or desires you are noticing within yourself.


I wish I had…I long for a….

“Lord, give me the grace to notice and name the desires of my heart.”

Second Movement

Take some time to read over all you’ve written. Do this slowly and prayerfully, much like you might engage in Lectio Divina. Invite the Holy Spirit to draw your attention to particular things. What stands out to you? What shimmers? Are there any patterns or themes that you’re noticing? Is there anything that, now upon reading back, doesn’t seem to ring true? Pay particular attention to your desires and maybe ask, What desires are underneath the ones I’ve expressed here? Is there a more basic desire beneath this one?

Begin in silence, expressing your openness to God’s voice. In the silence, notice what rises to the surface.

Mark or highlight what God is drawing your attention towards.

Third Movement

Now begin to have a conversation with God about all that you’re noticing. You can do that silently, out loud, or through journaling.

Hold all that you’ve noticed before God and invite him to highlight the particular thing he wants to address.

In the silence or in writing, address God in the way that feels like the most honest and personal way for you. ‘Dear God, Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit.’

First, write down your thoughts, questions or concerns in the form of a simple prayer.

Father, I feel like you’re drawing my attention to the fact that I have been resistant to spending time with you, even though I have so much more time and space to do so.

Then begin a personal conversation with God. Empty your heart to him. This is not an essay that will be graded, this is simply a love letter to the one who already knows you by heart. In the most personal way, write from your heart the things that are weighing on you, or concerning you, or the expressions of love and gratitude that you wish to make.

I’m noticing that I miss my time with you and I can see the many ways that my life is being negatively affected by the loss of those daily rhythms. Jesus, I confess my lack of desire. Please would you speak to me.

After you have prayed, stop and listen. What do you think God is saying to you in response? Does a thought, or image or verse from scripture come to mind? What do you believe your loving Father would want you to remember right now? Write that down too.

My child, I have so much desire for your company. I made you for the pleasure of knowing you. My arms are always open to you and I long for you to find rest in my love. Sit with me awhile, and let me restore your soul.

What is your honest response to God? What resistance or longings do you notice? What further questions do you want to ask? Is there a confession you want to make? You can continue this conversation until you feel a natural sense of Amen.

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