Inner Life

Two incidents in the past two weeks led me to pause and reflect again on the inner life. The first involved my NUS classmate (First-class Honours, 1992; my student from CHIJ Sec) who works in the US. We received the heartbreaking news of her young daughter passing on due to cancer.

The second incident involved someone who was not able to accept her condition. After observing her lesson, I asked gently if there was something bothering her. She cried. I was with her for three hours. On the surface, she was cheerful, but she had difficulty focussing on everyday tasks.

In a world that largely focusses on performance, on the external, where busyness is seen as success, many struggle to come to terms with inner turmoil when life serves them a curved ball. The inner life is often neglected.

I believe cultivating the inner life is important. Internal renewal involves the work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) as well as a conscious spiritual discipline.

How do we build on our inner life in Christ?

We need to be like the psalmist who goes to the Shepherd who leads him beside quiet waters and refreshes his soul (Psalm 23:2).

Inner life involves cultivating solitude, a quiet, deep, inner experience. How do we achieve that?

1. Create space to rediscover our own thoughts, reconnect with our inner self and evaluate our current values.
2. Get away from the pull of interruptions, schedules, and expectations and be more attentive to God.
3. Cultivate a heart of quiet prayer and a discipline of solitude. We can do this daily in our quiet time with the Lord and prayer. I find it helpful to do this during my morning walks.

May we cultivate our inner life.

Dr Vivien Ler