What I’m Reading Today: Galatians 1
When I was a lay person, I remember thinking to myself, “I admire the way a pastor thinks and acts – but they are lucky. They don’t have to deal with the same day-to-day challenges the rest of us face. They don’t have to face things like difficult co-workers, budgetary shortfalls, unreasonable expectations put on one by one’s boss, and the like. It must be so much easier being insulated from sorts of challenges.”
I smile now as I remember thinking that - for the reality is that much of our life is spent dealing with exactly those sorts of challenges. In addition to the “spiritual matters” that I typically deal with, for instance, I’ve worked with our lay leadership to hire and train not one, not two, but three new employees in just the past four weeks. So much for not having “normal” day-to-day concerns
So if pastors face the same day-to-day challenges as the rest of us, how do they find time to stay (at least in their best moments) spiritually centered?
In many ways, the answer to that question is a lot like the answer to the question, “How does someone become healthy?” By this I mean that the answer has several parts. Instead of doing things like eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep that have to do with our physical health, we try to do things that impact our spiritual health: things like regular prayer/meditation, daily devotional time, the cultivation of relationships outside of our ministry site, and the like. One of the most important spiritual disciplines for me has been my work with a spiritual director.
Lots of folks wonder what a spiritual director is. They ask if it’s simply a counselor or therapist that burns a candle and plays Yanni in the background. That’s not exactly it. A spiritual director is someone who can help us take the details of our daily life and look deeper – to discern God’s presence in the midst of the daily demands. In other words, they help cultivate our ability to stay connected with/to God 24/7. Every 5 or 6 weeks I travel to Altadena to tend to this piece of my spiritual life. Today is that day for my session. Needless to say I’m excited!
All of this raises the question: “What do you do on a regular basis to tend to your spiritual life?” It’s an important question that has the ability to move our faith outside the box of a 10:00 AM Sunday morning worship service into each and every aspect of our daily life.
Til next time…