While reading James Smith’s new book, Imagining the Kingdom I came across this brilliant thought:
“I cannot “choose” to fall asleep. The best I can do is choose to put myself in a posture and rhythm that welcomes sleep. ‘I lie down in bed, on my left side, with my knees drawn up; I close my eyes and breathe slowly, putting my plans out of my mind. But the power of my will or consciousness stops there.’ I want to go to sleep, and I’ve chosen to climb into bed—but in another sense sleep is not something under my control or at my beckoned call. ‘I call up the visitation of sleep by imitating the breathing and posture of the sleeper. . . . There is a moment when sleep ‘comes,’ settling on this imitation of itself which I have been offering to it, and I succeed in becoming what I was trying to be.’ Sleep is a gift to be received, not a decision to be made. And yet it is a gift that requires a posture of reception—a kind of active welcome.
What if being filled with the Spirit had the same dynamic? What if Christian practices are what Craig Dykstra calls ‘habitations of the Spirit’ precisely because they posture us to be filled and sanctified? What if we need to first adopt a bodily posture in order to become what we are trying to be?”