How Would We Be Shaped If We Embodied Stability?
by Mark Votava
Practicing stability for over a decade has taught me about life, people, God and myself. I am learning to love, show compassion and practice humility in my everyday life. The practice of gratitude has become something that keeps me from getting overwhelmed from what isn’t. The place I live has taught me to see the similarities in others rather than our differences.
I am learning to find balance. I am learning to be kind and forgiving. I am finding God revealed to me through the ordinary things in everyday life. Freedom is not just an idea, but an embodied experience I live out each day.
- Practicing stability together in the parish
We need years together of practicing stability in the parish to embody the gospel. We need a shared history together throughout time to practice our discipleship with others. We need to be put to the test by the stability we practice together as the body of Christ in everyday life.
- Testing our commitment, authenticity, love and humanity
The parish imagination will test our commitment. The parish imagination will test our authenticity. The parish imagination will test our love. The parish imagination will test our humanity.
- Shaping us into our true selves
Stability will either shape us into our true selves or we will give up on our faith altogether and lead individualistic lives. Stability is hard work and does not come easy in a culture that has forgotten this virtue. But the parish imagination is calling out to us for a rootedness in the place we live.
- Encountered with a shared life with others
As we practice the value of stability, we cannot live individualistically anymore. We are encountered with a shared life with others. We cannot escape this possibility anymore. It is our place that we are accountable to.
- We cannot ignore our local context
We cannot misuse the parish if we care for it. We cannot be colonial if we care for the good of others. We cannot ignore our local context when we have a parish imagination of rootedness.
- The long, hard work of life with other people where we are
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove says in his insightful book The Wisdom Of Stability, “Stability demands that we do the long, hard work of life with other people in the place where we are.” Stability will requires everything from us. Stability will require a strength of perseverance. Stability has deep wisdom to reveal to us as the body of Christ in everyday life.
- Stability teaches us compassion, humility and love
Stability teaches us of life with others. Stability teaches us compassion. Stability teaches us humility. Stability teaches us how to love.
- Stability teaches us relational connection, grace and simplicity
Stability teaches us relational connection. Stability teaches us grace. Stability teaches us simplicity. Stability teaches us proximity.
How can we practice stability together as the body of Christ in everyday life?