How to have a Healthy Spiritual Life

We are inherently spiritual people from our creation. We are God-breathed clay according to Genesis. And though we have all fallen down on the job of being good human beings, God did not leave us as failures but came to us in his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. This is the gospel of Christmas and Epiphany.
 
People tell me all the time that they are “spiritual but not religious.” What they mean, I think, is that they are in touch with their spiritual impulse, but they don’t really do anything about it formally. But in reality, everyone is religious in the sense that a religion is the regular outward and communal practice of the inward spiritual life. That is my definition of religious.

So if you go to the golf course or shop every Sunday, you are expressing outwardly for a community what the state of your spiritual life is informally but no less honestly. What you worship is clear. What you think about what is important and who is important are consistently communicated to anyone paying attention.
 
What would a healthy spiritual life include then? Well, of course, I think it includes church attendance, classes, and regular Bible reading and prayer. To be clearer myself though, what I really think it should include is worship with a community that is shaped by a tradition larger then yourself and to which your commitment extends beyond your comfort, because the things that matter sometimes are hard to sustain on feeling and need to be larger than our best intentions. We center that worship in daily prayer and weekly Eucharist as the church has done since the beginning.
 
You should be in a small group setting of reflection and prayer as well. This may be classes or a small group or even a regular group of friends who get coffee and read together. We can only grow so much and so deep by ourselves. And we owe others the wisdom and love that we have accumulated. So being in a small group is vital. Even a group of just two can go a long way.
 
Finally, the other dimensions we will discuss in classes this Epiphany on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm in Rectors Hall.  Join us with a Bible and notebook and Book of Common Prayer if you have one. You are religious and spiritual, but are you intentional?
 
-daniel+