The Spiritual Journey
I know the spiritual journey is not always an easy road.
It is full of questions and wonder.
It is never complete. You get to the end of the road just to find out there is more road.
I believe we need companions for the journey.
Everyone’s journey moves in different directions, with different landscapes.
The tradition of setting up a specific time carved out of each day for prayer and devotions does not work for everyone. It may seem too narrow and compartmentalized and can leave you feeling resentful and empty. Practicing God’s presence encompasses every aspect of life: worship, prayer, devotions, silence, serving, seeking justice, enjoying and caring for creation, and of course, relationships. This sounds like a tall order but it can happen over time…as we continue the journey.
Spiritual expression is found in community; a community that is larger than the church. It means giving and receiving support and care. It means living forgiveness and feeling God’s presence through others. We experience the presence of God in grace filled relationships. We might try to approach each relationship with grace and a non-judgmental spirit so that God’s presence is evident not only to us, but to those we encounter as well.
Our spiritual journey is about awakening to God’s presence within and around us. We pay attention to our bodies and our emotions; we explore the things that give us joy and the things that disturb us. I love the way Irma Zaleski speaks of the encounter with God in The Inner Journey; Views From the Christian Tradition:
For God never comes to us alone, but brings with him the whole universe. He opens our eyes to the beauty of everything that is. He brings with him every human being who has ever lived. He breaks our hearts open to what is not self. He shares with us his own joy and his own total, all-embracing love poured out on us in Christ.
I have a few thoughts regarding how to approach a spiritual journey.
Treat yourself with grace; giving yourself permission to explore what works for you and time to make it a reality in your life.
Create some practices that are intentionally structured to bring spiritual practice into the daily rhythm of your life.
Protect your Sabbath. Be gentle with yourself. Remember God’s grace is for you, but will be lived out in community with others.
Learn about the spirituality of others across denominations and faiths and take with you what seems to resonate with you.
Most importantly remember that however you choose to practice and nurture spirituality, it should give you life.