Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Spiritual renewal...more than just words
My previous post on the subject of spiritual self-care had more to do with identifying the problem areas than providing solutions. In this article, my intent is to provide a very workable strategy to integrate into your life. To assist with this process, please read the article, Renewed Through Spiritual Self-Care, by Lucille Zimmerman. This article is found at http://www.ministrymatters.com/lead/entry/3886/renewed-through-spiritual-self-care. To whet your appetite for the content of this article here are a few nuggets for your enjoyment: Spirituality signifies the inner attitude of living life in search of the sacred, a search for meaning in life through something more powerful and bigger than ourselves. It is the way we invite God into our daily lives. One philosopher and writer calls it “the wild joy we humans fall into.” Another writer, Elizabeth Harper Neeld, says, “The spiritual life is the core of who we are. It is Life with a capital L. It is that part of us that knows infinity. That loves. That longs for connection. That is unsatisfied without purpose and meaning. That is moved by ritual. That is timeless” (A Sacred Primer, 20) Spiritual experiences show up as a coincidence, conversion, near-death experience, awakening, mystery, energy, emotion, beauty, awe, wonder, and silence. These experiences show up in ways that cannot be put into words, and they don’t have to be earth-shattering. Sometimes the best moments are when we hear the still, small voice of God. Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and [God] cannot be found in noise and restlessness. . . . The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to touch souls” (A Gift for God, 68–69). In order to do that, we must carve a time, space, and frame of mind, free of distraction, to nurture our spirituality. Teresa of Avila said, “The life of prayer is just the love of God and liking to be with him." What is particularly appealing with this article is that it does not give a formulaic way to increase one’s spirituality. I found myself nodding in agreement, propping my chin on my hand in thought, and concluding this writing was speaking from experiences that were not all that different than my own. I have discovered that consistency in developing my spiritual life through various disciplines such as, Bible reading, prayer, journaling, personal reflection, corporate worship, private worship, being honest with myself about where I am in life, and maintaining a connection with an accountability partner keeps me pretty spiritually centered. The task of hospice requires a fully present Chaplain. It takes focus and work to maintain that feeling of being centered. Bless you Chaplain Colleagues in your most sacred work.