Devotions based on David Benner’s book, Soulful Spirituality
As Christians we sometimes feel stuck in our spiritual journey and think we must practice more spiritual disciplines. But sometimes what we need to do is to step back and focus on the foundational spiritual practices with attentiveness. One pastor had a life changing experience by practicing contemplative seeing the world through the eyes of wonder and being awakened in his senses to creation etc. He thought he needed a rest but what he really needed was to awaken. Benner mentions 3 criteria to distinguish healthy spirituality and unhealthy expressions of it. 1.Loving relationships. A healthy spirituality nurtures a love of life. As we choose life we are choosing love and this spreads to others. We are not to live in isolation and as we love life, we will value the lives of others as well. 2. Faith and belonging. Our spirituality should provide us with a deep awareness and belonging which is grounded in safety and trust. Faith begins with trust and emotional trust is the foundation of spiritual faith. Belonging to those who love us affects our physical well-being too. People who are connected with others get sick less and live longer. 3. Transcendent meaning. We need meaning in life and to be able to fit our new experiences within our evolving life story. We need a meaning that is strong enough that we can embrace suffering, rather than ask, “Why me?” Suffering gives us a chance to deepen our spiritual journey and befriend it. A healthy spirituality can’t be just adopted from our family but comes from our personal response to our deepest longings and helps us make sense of our life experiences. It will always be evolving and changing.