When You Don't Feel All That Spiritual
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear one of my spiritual mentors speak at an event. There was one thing he shared that I have been pondering a bit more lately:
He revealed that he spends most of his days not really feeling all that spiritual.
This mentor told us that like most people what keeps him from fully experiencing God are all of his unhealthy attachments---all of the things that essentially replace his desire for God.
This was a revelation to me. Like my spiritual mentor, I write and think about spiritual matters every single day, and (like him) most of the time I don't feel all that spiritual.
But I'm learning something about my experience of God as I begin to acknowledge this truth, and the role my own unhealthy attachments play in it.
You see, I can spend all of my energy trying to understand more of God and connect with the Divine Presence in the world around me, but I will always feel disconnected if I'm trying to do this on my own terms.
It's our pride and our willfulness that keep us from experiencing God more fully. What we need is a healthy dose of humility, and a willingness to admit we have a lot of unhealthy things to let go.
I read this line the other day from William Blake's Jerusalem that spoke this truth to me so clearly:
O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness and love:Annihilate the Selfhood in me: be thou all my life!Guide thou my hand, which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages.If we are to have more of God in our lives... if we would see more of God in the world... if we would experience more of God's presence all around us, in us and through us...
Then we need to be emptied of ourselves, and our attachments to the things that keep us from more fully experiencing God.
This is a choice for us. God doesn't come to us unbidden, or when the space within our heart is too crowded with other things trying to be God.
Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this:
Divine Loving is so pure that it never manipulates, shames, or forces itself on anyone. Love waits to be invited and desired and only then rushes in.
May you discover new ways to become empty of the things of this world so that you may be filled with God's ever-loving, always-seeking and knocking presence. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.