Letting Scripture Read Me

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Letting Scripture Read Me

Photo Credit: joshuapaulphotography.com

By Sharon Swing and Sibyl Towner, co-authors of Life to My Life

*Excerpts from Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story; “My Life Now” map reflection page.

One purpose of the “My Life Story” map is “to uncover how beloved you are and always have been by the God who created you.” We map our lives to obtain perspective of how our story fits into God’s greater story. It starts with God, and beginning to recognize that HE is enough; His plan is enough; His grace is enough. One spiritual practice we can try to help focus our minds and hearts toward that end is called Lectio Divina. This practice was developed by St. Benedict in the 16th century as way of listening to God through scripture, and responding to His invitations

Lectio Divina has been a powerfully rich tool to reorient me from just reading scripture with my mind to engaging it with my heart. The scripture feels personal and unique for this day. It feels alive and active as God meets me in it – a bit like sitting down with Him for a cup of coffee vs. just reading about Him in a book.

Begin by sitting silently and quieting your heart before God.

  • First, read the passage slowly. Circle, underline words, or jot down a phrase or passage that stands out to you.
  • Second, read the passage again out loud. How does what you noted relate to your life right now? Write or draw what comes to mind in your journal.
  • Third, as you read the passage a third time, ask “What might God be inviting me to be or do”? Write or draw what comes to mind.
  • Fourth, read the passage one more time, asking God for the courage to be or do what He has asked of you. Then rest in the assurance that God loves you.

Scripture – Psalm 16:5-11 (NIV)

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Reflection Questions:

  • What word or phrase were you drawn to?
  • How did it relate to your life right now?
  • What did you sense God asking you to be or do?
  • How will you respond to God now?


God, thank you for the privilege to sit with YOU and listen to YOU as we read Your word. Open our eyes and hearts to see what YOU want us to see, and hear what YOU want us to hear. As we do, remind us that being with YOU is enough, even if all we do is spend that time in your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Book Recommendation:

Invitation To A Journey by M. Robert Mulhollander








About the Author:

Sibyl Towner is a co-author of Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story, a visual portfolio for small groups, mentoring relationships, workshops, retreats, classes, use between spiritual friends or individually to re-discover the storyline of the life they are authoring with God. She is also co-director at The Springs Retreat Center. More information is available at www.onelifemaps.com and www.thespringsindiana.org.

One Comment

  1. Julie Thomas February 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Sibyl and Sharon, I love the totality of what you bring with the maps. Not only a way to look at our lives, but ways to come back and put our focus on God. Thank you.

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