Saturday, March 8, 2014
The problem with a spiritual discipline is that it requires time. Throw instant gratification out the window. There is no spiritual microwave which gives us what we want in thirty seconds. Neither is it like some powdered instant drink which only requires a little warm water. There may be things which can be done in a hurry, but the practice of spiritual disciplines is not one of them. The invitation which invites us to observe a holy Lent is a call to slow down and sit in the presence of God. While to some it may seem like an invitation "to do," it is more an invitation "to be." Surely, to be in the presence of God is the goal of this holy invitation.
What we want is this meaningful relationship with God. We look with envy at some of those who seem to breathe life with God in and out like inhaling and exhaling. We would do anything to be like them except the practice of spiritual disciplines. Great musicians do not just pick up instruments and make music. The concert stage is built with hours, and days, and years of practice. It is no different in our spiritual lives. What we want will require some effort on our part. Actually, it will require more than just some effort. It will require a lifetime of effort. The human effort does not initiate the mysterious relationship between God and us, but like any good relationship, it will require significant sacrifice from us for it to reach its potential.
Is not this what we desire to happen in our lives during this Lenten season? Would we not like to come to the end of this holy season and know a deeper sense of being one with Christ? Spiritual disciplines are not glitzy things, but necessary things if we are going to truly experience the presence of God in an ongoing way in our spiritual life. There is a big difference in being a seeker of blessings and a seeker of the One who gives the blessings. Being with Him is what the invitation of this holy season is all about.