Hello, everyone. This blog has moved to JOHNVOELZ.COM!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"How is my Spiritual Life???"

A few days ago a friend asked me a few personal questions.

“How is your family?”

“Feeling like you’re getting on top of financial things?”

“How are things at the church?”

“What are you dreaming about these days?”

“Where is Connor going to college?”

“How are that grandbaby and the kids in Seattle?”

These questions, and some others were the fodder for an hour-long conversation. Then he threw me for a loop and asked a question I didn’t really know how to answer . . .

“How is your spiritual life?”

It’s not that I didn’t have an answer. It’s that I thought I HAD been answering that question for the whole hour we had been talking.

He was really asking about my spiritual disciplines—prayer, bible reading, etc. But he didn’t say that. He asked about my spiritual life. This is partly bothersome, curious, intriguing, thought provoking, and a teachable moment.

Random thoughts . . .

1. I believe the spiritual life has more to do with inviting the Holy Spirit to guide, counsel, partner, and speak into my every day situations than it has to do with the things spiritual people do. Or, the things people believe spiritual people “should” do.
2. I believe the way I treat my family, friends, and co-workers is a better indication of how my “spiritual life” is going than the number of days I have spent reading my bible.
3. Recognizing everyday things as spiritual and listening to and sensing the movement of God in those things are an important posture for us. When I start viewing my conversation with the Starbucks guy as spiritual, new things take shape in the conversation, the Starbucks guy, and me. When dinner with the family is seen as spiritual, the conversation takes a different shape and I listen better. I engage differently.
4. Seeing everyday business as spiritual—money, job, recreation, family, etc.—energizes me and removes some of the guilt I feel put on me by other people’s idea of what is spiritual and what is not. I find myself meditating on the Word of God, praying, and inviting God into the mundane.
5. There is no secular and sacred with this posture. We don’t escape the secular to bask in the sacred. Richard Rohr points out the word “profane” comes from two words pro and funum meaning “outside the temple.” When Jesus died, the temple veil tore in two. The world was invited in to the temple at Jesus’ invitation. The temple spilled out into everything.
6. I don’t simply meet with Jesus over a cup of coffee and a bible. If that were the case, I honestly wouldn’t meet with him as often as others would like me to.
7. Inviting the Holy Spirit into the mundane has made me a pray-er. Not just before a test. Not just before a meal. Not just with other believers. All the time.
8. Romans 8 is a good picture of this posture.
9. Certainly my spiritual life is sweetened, sharpened, more intuitive, and I gain greater perspective (etc.) when I take special time out to do things like read, be silent, go on a retreat, etc. BUT it is not SIMPLY those things that define “how my spiritual life is going.”
10. Thinking through these things has been a spiritual exercise.

Just a few thoughts.

blog comments powered by Disqus