Into the Spiritual Life
How often do we bring to the front of our minds the reason for spirituality? Not the sort of half thing dribbling around in the nether regions of our minds. Eventually coming to a dead stop. Spirituality that we perceive as an unidentifiable thing vaguely related to our lives. Not nearly as important as our jobs, friends, homes or thousands of other matters filling our days.
Spirituality is completely and totally unimportant. We see only what we want to see of the physical world around us. Looking beyond that to the spiritual life takes effort.
How often has the church of your choice been your bank? How much of your life has been consumed with trying to make the Joneses keep up with you?
It can be frightening for anybody to look at the spiritual world. It’s a challenge. With the physical world we can see people and things. We can walk through a park to empty our minds of our problems. That is great, but then we are confronted with looking beyond the tangible world.
How deeply do we perceive our world’s spiritual realities?
It’s easy to acknowledge that it can be difficult for children to give up their fear of the dark. It’s more difficult to admit that many of us adults are afraid of spiritual light. Reaching the point where we see spiritual light can feel like an uphill climb we may never master. Did you ever consider that opening ourselves to spiritual light is not an uphill climb?
It’s an internal leap. A huge internal jump from the material world where we have existed to an interior world where we get to grow and live. Really live.
There has to be an honest willingness to soar up out of the maelstrom of daily life to reach this goal. To make and keep a clear spiritual connection with God.
Willingness is fine, but it’s only being willing.
What happens once we become willing?
Take the leap.
Take the leap from a life that is only in the physical world to entering spiritual life on a continual basis. Because you can. Because you dare.
Because you have the guts to venture into a whole new way of life.
Maybe it sounds hard. Whether or not it is difficult is up to each of us. At every moment of our lives we get to make the decision to live spiritual lives. We can continue to live as we have. Our lives can be weighed down by the physical matters of life.
Or we can fly.
People say they want to see or feel the presence of their God in their lives. More accurately, individuals will tell you outright that they want to communicate with God. They want more than just to feel an indefinable presence. Because, let’s face it, sometimes when we think we’re connecting with God it turns out to be a case of gas.
Nothing like a disappointing discovery to put you back on your heel.
Then there are the times we question whether anyone, anywhere, has ever understood us. Really comprehended who we are. Similarly, we feel so disconnected from other people that we’re not sure we have the vaguest clue about them.
We may be ready to give up on the whole spiritual life idea. It’s at times when we are ready to throw in the towel that spirituality works best for us.
It isn’t easy. We need to be willing to get out of our own way. This is when the saying comes into play that we have all of eternity to think. It’s time to get up and work.
Work is what it takes. It’s not just Western society, but it’s the whole world that focuses on the physical world. On getting the right job to buy the right house to marry the right person to meet everybody else’s expectations of us.
As a lifelong failure at that, I promise you that it has taken constant daily striving to live a spiritually focused life. When we have the mistaken idea that spirituality is all pie in the sky, we forget what it truly is.
Spirituality is how I approach life. How I approach my work, the people I know, the places I go. Maybe when other people retire from their 9 to 5 jobs, that’s it. They retire from work. When I retired from 9 to 5 work, that was the only work from which I retired.
My observation through life was that the people I found to be most successful lived precisely like that. They remained active in the world. With a caveat. They had always been spiritually active. Retirement brought increased spiritual work.
For myself, I don’t find that I am performing more outwardly spiritual work than before. I have found that the times in between those spiritual jobs are more intense.
There is more spiritual work to do as I detach from life.