First week of Lent 2012, why so much discontent?
Like many at Urban Bridge Church I’m following our Lenten series using “the Developing the Spiritual life” devotional. It is all I hoped it would be and more: simple to read, profound to implement.
This is a core part of week one. We customized our spiritual lives, so why are many of us still discontent?
From the book:
“The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.” Luke 15:12
At first, the son has lots of people called friends eager to show him a good time and enjoy the lavish company. The money runs out. So do the good times. Even the memories strike a harsh chord. He is left alone with only the irksome, but reliable fellowship of his own poverty for a companion.
This is not merely a story of courtship with the world, it is the spiritual tale of many Christians today whose brand of faith and experience has fallen far short of what they expected. Many of us are feeling rather friendless these days, and wondering where we took the wrong turn.
It’s as if we too left home at a young age, inheritance in hand. We too, on feet that ached from long, hard days of fruitless labour, went to the Father. We too asked for what belonged to us. As still-confessing believers we simply went – elsewhere, with personal spiritual resources in tow. With the assurance of salvation tucked safely in our back pocket, we set out.
We continued to pray, in our own way. We carved out spiritual niches. We joined alternative places of worship and Christian practice. We decided which teachings to accept, or reject. Which pastors pleased us and which congregations no longer suited us. In some cases, we started our own church, or gathering, or thing. In a word, we customized our spiritual lives. So, why are many of us still discontent?
Centered: thoughts on evangelical spiritual formation volume 1 Issue 2Developing the Spiritual life, Six Sessions for individuals and groups By Len Thompson and Dana Mazzuca
I’ve been reflecting on how I have customized my spiritual: A lot of my customization is expressed in behaviour. Simply put I don’t always behave as one who follows Christ. Its as though I have exempted certain behaviours from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit.
What about you, how have you customized your spirituality?