One of my prayers for this blog is that it will reflect spiritual growth. Gradually (and I confess sometimes grudgingly), I am accepting that such growth depends on my willingness to do more than just think and read and write. I need to get over my stand-offish tendencies and act.
I am an introvert. Sometimes I think life would be much easier not having to worry about human relationships. When my phone rings, my inclination is usually not to answer it… be the call from someone I love or a stranger. I also tend to want to turn down invitations, even when they sound like fun. I don’t know why I lean this way. I’ve been blessed with passable social skills and I really do like people. But for whatever reason, I do. As a result, I often avoid getting involved or making commitments. In the past, even when a commitment is entirely voluntary, I resent the subsequent feelings of obligation.
I’m happy to say that I seem to be changing and growing. These feelings are still there, but they are being overpowered by a tug and desire to be more involved. I no longer view my deep feelings of obligation and loyalty as burdens. They keep me honest and help me overcome laziness. These changes have come over a long stretch. I can trace them back about five years. Having a baby has made them even more noticeable.
Okay – thanks for bearing with me. That was kind of a long intro, but it seems relevant to my point. In my spiritual life, I’ve behaved the same way. I’ve avoided commitments. Sermons that are less intellectual and more touchy-feely kind of irritate me. As I listened to last week’s message at church, I started to feel that way and then felt immediate contrition. The touchy-feely stuff is at the heart of the matter. It IS what matters. God loves us. How much more important is that than who authored the gospels or which word is a more accurate translation in a specific verse? I still find those things interesting and even important to a certain point, but I have to remind myself periodically that while they are great tools for understanding and sustained searching, they are not the point.
And while study can deepen our feeling of connection to God, how much greater intimacy can we achieve if we involve not just our minds, but our hearts and hands in His work? I think we’ve all been given different capacities for service; and knowing ourselves and how we can make the most impact is wonderful. However, I also think many of us underestimate our capacities – or if you’re like me – stubbornly refuse to see them.
So this morning I lift my coffee cup to all of you who put yourselves out there for God. I’m hoping to join your ranks. š Have a great day, everyone!