I was raised in the church or churches I might say. My mother is an Episcopalian, but my grandparents, whom I spent a lot of time with, were Assembly of God. So needless to say I am comfortable with anything from incense to speaking in tongues. I heard my grandfather speak in tongues many times. Through the years, I have swing back and forth between what made me comfortable and what I resisted.
Our pastor, Stan Mitchell, talks about “searching for your own salvation through fear and trembling”. He tells us that the beauty is to dig deep into your spirituality. That is work, but with beautiful rewards. Perhaps some approach their spirituality as a check list, almost like an insurance policy. So then it becomes “salvation:check”, and then they are done.
I fail quite often in where I am versus where I want to be. That’s a human thing: failure. I don’t believe God looks at things like that. I think if we really realized the depth of that love and mercy, we could turn no other way.
Once in a while you find a teacher whose words just seem right. They make sense, and it’s like you’ve always known those thoughts, but now you find someone to validate them. There is a Franciscan Priest of all folks for me named Richard Rohr. He runs The Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque New Mexico. Maybe it’s just where I’m at in life, in a quieter stage. A more reflective side. The contemplative life. It just seems to make sense for me, and I believe that approach helps filter out much of what isn’t important in this world we are walking through. It leaves more truth and more opportunity to be in the presence of God.
Not everyone is cut out to make a contemplative spiritual life their steady diet, but in our society, it can be so beneficial for us to slow down and be still. So much activity in our lives that being still seems like the oddest thought. Rohr has several great books and I’d suggest “Everything Belongs” first.
Finding balance and beauty in this life takes effort and I find it takes a great deal of effort sometimes to dig deeper looking for God and understanding that I really know nothing. I’m hoping that leaves me open to see God in everything.
Let me know if you check any of Rohr’s work out. A link to his site is below.