Buddha said "Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life." And yet sometimes we let that spiritual candle burn out. In order to keep it lit we need to renew ourselves spiritually. The Savior Jesus Christ taught by his words and example how to keep our spiritual candles lit. Three ways in which he demonstrated this are to search, ponder and pray.
We need to search our scriptures. The answers to life's questions can be found in these sacred writings. The Savior taught, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39) When he was tempted of the devil after fasting for 40 days it was scripture which he quoted to refute Satan. When our hearts are troubled, when we seek answers to problems this is where we need to turn.
The question now becomes how do I implement this tool to spirituality in my life? First, we must make the commitment to search our scriptures daily. And then we need to select a time when that study will be most effective. I like to read mine while I eat my breakfast. While I nourish my body, I nourish my soul. This is also after my children have left for school, so it is quiet and I can concentrate, take notes, and seek for answers. My husband likes to study his after the children have gone to bed and the house is quiet for the evening. Examine your life and daily routine and see where you can fit this in. If you need to, remove something that is not as important so you can make scripture study a priority.
To ponder something is "to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate." In order to accomplish this we need quiet; we need to be able to block out the noise of life. The Savior often sought quiet and solitude from the multitudes that followed him. In John 6, we read of a "great multitude following him" and to escape them he "went up into a mountain, and there sat with his disciples." (John 6:2, 3) Just as the Savior resorted to places of peace and solitude we need to seek places or times where we can feel his Spirit and ponder on sacred things.
Finding the time for meditation is not always easy. Deep pondering may not always be possible every day. Many times I choose not to listen to the radio while driving my car. Running is another time when I prefer to be with just my thoughts.
A wise church leader once taught me the need at times to seek out a place in nature where I could reconnect with my spiritual self. Obviously this cannot happen every day, but when time permits or when an opportunity arises, take that walk through the woods, along the beach or just around the block. Use that time to ponder, to think and listen for inspiration.
It is through prayer that we commune with God. We turn to Him to seek answers to our problems, help with our decisions, and blessings for ourselves and others. The Savior often prayed to His Father for strength, for discernment and for blessings for those around him. He also used prayer as a means to renew himself. In Mark 6:46 we are taught that "when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray." If the Savior needed to pray, how much more do we need to pray?
The Psalmist said, "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." (Psalm 55:16-17) Again, find those quiet moments when our hearts can be turned fully to our Father in Heaven. He has promised to answer our prayers; we need to promise to offer them up.
It can be easy in this busy world of ours to let our spiritual habits slack off. But with practice, patience and persistence we can make them a permanent part of our daily lives. Spurgeon said, "He who climbs above the cares of this world, and turns his face to his God, has found the sunny side of life." Take the time, turn your face to God and this will keep your spiritual candle lit.