I’m glad I made that last post about posting more often . . . anyway . . . the past few weeks have been a spiritual rah rah blur. The misperception regarding ministers is that we should be so spiritual because we get to attend so many spiritual things and be part of so much spiritual stuff. I am beginning to think that that “stuff” and being so invovled in it has a reverse effect sometimes. Over the past three weeks I have been to Oklahoma City to talk with a professor there about working on a “spiritually related” project, to Fallfest in Cincinnati for a “spiritual youth rally” with our middle schoolers, and this past weekend I was in Nashville, TN for the Zoe Worship Conference at Woodmont Hills Family of God for a “spiritual conference.” And this Saturday, we will be unloading 1/4 semi load of pumpkins onto our church grounds for a “spiritual outreach” focused pumpkin patch and fundraiser.
Now, with all of these “spiritual” events packed in there together, you’d think that I’d be spirituallly fired up ready to set off a spiritual nuke on the world. Those of you in full-time ministry probably know better. These events tend to run together when this is your life. I live from one event to the next. Whether on the larger scale as discussed above, or on the smaller scale of one sermon to the next, one Bible class to the next, one youth group planned activity to the next, one small group to the next. It’s truly amazing how “unspiritual” these things start feeling after awhile.
So what is left then? Are these things all a waste for ministers? Are they all a farce? Am I a psycho. Well, nothing, maybe, probably not, and definitely.
Here is the perfect example of what I am getting at. Just about the time all these events have been going on in my life, I have also began trying to implement the daily office into my routine spirituality (which hasn’t been so routine). If you are not familiar with the ancient practice of the daily office, it is essentially the planned suspension of life as you know it during every day, to stop, focus on Christ, the Word of God, and remind yourself of why you take each breath. It is an ancient Catholic practice, that Phyllis Tickle has recently updated and organized from a Protestant perspective. I picked up her The Divine Hours, for autumn and wintertime, which begin in Oct. and have been trying to incorporate that into my daily spirituality. That has been a great blessing and a rejuvenation to my spirituality. The greatest obstacle in maintaining the daily office in the first couple weeks of my trying it? The aforementioned “spiritual events.” I love the irony.
A busy spirituality is a fake spirituality. That is what I am coming to believe. I have a busy spirituality focused on programs, events, and structure. Usually the most spiritual moments come in the midst of unplanned, unexpected, and totally unorganized ways. The problem is, I am usually too busy to notice them.
For my self, I offer this prayer: “Be still, and know that I, the Lord, am God.”