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Center Reflections

Sensing the “Spirit Shift” in the Ordinary of our Day

Last week, I rode my bicycle on one of our local bike trails. This trail follows a former railroad track that at
times parallels a river, then weaves in and out of woodland and meadow. I was alone on the path. As my
body fell into a comfortable rhythm of pedaling and movement, I became aware of the silence and sounds of
nature. My eyes took in the path ahead – sometimes visible for long distances, sometimes rounding a bend.
In that gazing, a subtle shift occurred – a shift nudged by the Holy Spirit within, inviting me to see that path
as a picture of my spiritual journey intertwined with my day: every day.
The path, or routine, of our day may include a commute to and from work or school; interactions with
colleagues, family, friends; deadlines, schedules, a “to do” list, volunteering, caregiving, etc. There may not
be the opportunity to be in an environment that soothes our ruffled minds, that lessens our anxiety or
stressors of the day. And yet, there resides within each of us the Holy Spirit – the presence of God.
Although I’ve biked that trail (alone and with others) for over 2 years, this particular ride was the first time I
was aware of the “Spirit shift”. As I’ve pondered that ride and awareness, I’ve come to believe that the
“Spirit shift” occurs regularly in our lives. When we include some type of daily interaction with God – for
example; a daily devotion, blessing of prayer at mealtime, morning or evening prayer, listening to
contemporary praise, gospel music, or traditional hymns – we open the door and invite the Holy, the Sacred,
into our day. Our invitation to The Holy becomes our Yes to the Spirit shift. The shift doesn’t occur instantly
or easily, simply because we quickly become self-absorbed, sucked into the demands of our day. We can’t
make it happen. But, we can open the door! How?
I offer to you some practices that I have found helpful:
● In your daily interaction with God, allow yourself in those moments to be fully present in the words
you speak/read, or in the music you hear.
● A familiar prayer, song, or scripture may take on new meaning as a word or phrase seems to
become “bold-printed”. That may be the moment it passes from your head to your heart, or spirit.
● Say a simple breath prayer (aloud or in silence), asking the Holy Spirit to remind you of the word or
phrase as you continue in your day.
● Write the word or phrase on a post-it note and place it on a conspicuous place: fridge, computer,
bathroom mirror. Or, enter it on your phone/computer calendar, or a notepad or daily reminder app.
● When you feel frustrated that your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is null and void (and it will happen),
take heart! Your awareness that you are frustrated is the beginning of that sensitivity.
We are body and spirit, so it makes sense that our spiritual journey is intertwined in our daily activities.
Although I learned how to ride a bike as a child, when I began riding again three years ago, it took some
time and practice to regain balance, agility, and strength on my bike. So it is with the Spirit shift. Time and
practice will sensitize us to God’s presence and movement in our day.
Debi Decker
Spiritual Director
Retired Local Licensed Pastor


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