Spirituality 1.0

John Eldredge had a brilliant podcast a few months ago that has really been working on me. Eldredge talks about how with our smart phones, we have become used to the fact that we have an upgrade every few days. Our phones are conditioning us to always be looking for what is next.

Eldredge says we need to be aware of how this is bleeding into our spiritual lives. We begin to think of God in this way, so we end up looking for a new word from Him every few days.

Yet what is always stunning to me when I look back over my journals is that God seems to frequently say the same things over and over. I pride myself in being a learner because of how much I read and podcast, yet I could boil down the things God has been trying to get through my head over the last five years to maybe three sentences.

People often see take this act of repetition as an act of a frustrated dad trying to communicate to a pre-schooler. We paint this picture of God wanting to grab our cheeks, force our gaze into his and say: “LISTEN TO ME!!”

But I wonder if that is really what is going on. Maybe instead, we are grabbing his face and saying: “SAY SOMETHING ELSE!”

So he smiles, and repeats himself. Because he understands the process and the importance of not jumping too quickly to the next thing.

Discipleship is slow. UnGodly slow. But we are always in a hurry to figure out what is next. Most of the time, I think we genuinely want to hear what God has to say to us. Our problem is that we don’t stay on it long enough.

We want the sound bite and then be able to move on to the next thing. Maybe our problem is not stubbornness or a refusal to listen. Maybe our problem is not staying on one thing long enough.

Sometimes we need to learn to sit and be content where we are. We can often miss the beauty of the here and now, because we are so focused on what is coming next.

Sometimes we need to do the long, hard work of grieving. We like to avoid thinking about pain, but often healing comes from acknowledging our pain, and learning to sit in it long enough to actually heal.

Sometimes we need to let a profound revelation soak in from our minds to our hearts. Instead of skipping to the next blog, or rushing to finish the next chapter, we need to stop and think deeply about the implications for what we have just taken in.

Maybe when we see patterns emerging in what God is saying to us, we need to stop chalking it up to our refusal to listen. Maybe it is God’s call to stop trying to work on so many things, and be present to a singular truth.

How have you seen this play out in your life? What things does God tell you over and over?

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3 thoughts on “Spirituality 1.0

  1. Trevor this really spoke to me and helped me to process some things I am going through right now.

    “Sometimes we need to learn to sit and be content where we are. We can often miss the beauty of the here and now, because we are so focused on what is coming next.

    Sometimes we need to do the long, hard work of grieving. We like to avoid thinking about pain, but often healing comes from acknowledging our pain, and learning to sit in it long enough to actually heal.”

    There are so many times this last year that I have wished to hit the fast forward button on this particular time of my life.

    And It would seem to make sense that we would want to get away from a tough time in our life as quickly as possible, but when we do this we miss such a great opportunity to find out some very real things about ourselves. This reminds me of the movie Elizabethtown, there is this guy who so badly wants to escape an episode of monumental failure that he is willing to end his life. But he finds himself trapped in the experience because in that moment his father dies and he feels obligated to support his mother through this tragedy. Eventually he decides to embrace the process of mourning his perceived failure and through this he comes away with this monumental and life changing priority shift. He decides that life is about very different things than he once valued.

    Family, friends, love, becoming the best versions of ourselves, these are things that deserve every bit of our devotion and everything else should just be to facilitate the growth of these things. Sometimes though it takes the painful death of certain other aspects of our lives (our dedications to financial success, finding acceptance, and security) to really understand this truth.

  2. Thanks Phil! This has been a significant shift for me over the last year. I am becoming increasing more convinced that the here and now is the most important moment. It is the only place we can connect with God or others.

    But like you said the difficult part is that often the here and now means dealing with painful moments. As I have walked through this I have found that I spend way to much time thinking about how things could or should be or trying to control and change circumstances. The here and now requires me to accept things as they are (even when I don’t like them) or forgive when wrong is done to me. It’s a more difficult way to live, but better!

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