Simple Spiritual Practice
Are You Stuck…Spiritually?
by Heather Sims, Senior Associate Pastor, Discipleship Ministry
We are a prone-to-being-stuck kind of people. We get distracted, pulled down, undone. God feels distant and irrelevant. You may be stuck if:
- life feels mundane
- you feel unimpressed or aloof to the things of God
- your hunger for more of God has decreased, or
- the preached Word seems boring.
If any of these sound like you, relax! You are normal…we all experience being stuck. Sometimes it helps to assess where we are before making changes.
Rhythm, not Balance: I find that looking at my rhythm of life helps me to see where my attention needs to focus and to be more intentional about receiving God’s grace. We long for balance, but for me balance is only something I pass through as my pendulum swings to the other extreme. Trying to find the perfect balance in each day only leaves me frustrated and burned out. Meanwhile, around me the natural world moves in rhythms – seasons changing, the sun rising, my heart beating, and my lungs breathing. It is unrealistic for me to think I should give proportionate effort to every dimension to my life every day. Life is dynamic and to live well, I need to adapt to those changes. So my first step in becoming unstuck spiritually is to disembark the balance beam.
Natural Rhythms: I prefer to think about the natural rhythms of life. Sometimes it’s time to work hard; sometimes it’s time to rest and recover. Sometimes it’s time to grieve; sometimes it’s time to celebrate. Rather than try to achieve balance regardless of the day, ask yourself what is right for this season of my life and what are the ways God is leading me to respond to Him daily, weekly, monthly, occasionally? If you are a parent, the rhythm of your life will look different than that of a single person graduating from college. Live in sync with your current life stage.
Create Rituals: Healthy routines/rituals can bring deeper meaning. Just as I might have routines with my family (calling my parents each week, visiting every other month), my relationship with God is healthiest when I practice daily, weekly, monthly, and occasional routines. Here are some routines I find keep me alert to God’s working and mold me in grace:
- Daily – scripture reading, prayer, planning (I am not naturally structured)
- Weekly – worship, fasting, Sabbath, alone time
- Monthly – review previous month to notice patterns, get out of town (conference, adventure, visit to a loved one, etc.)
- Occasionally – extended retreat for study/prayer, practice a neglected spiritual discipline
God dwells in us: Your rhythms may look much different than mine, and that is good! Sometimes my routines change drastically depending on the season of my life and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Because God dwells in us, God knows what we need. Ask God to lead you, trust God to guide you, expect God to shake things up every now and then, and enjoy the process.
I leave you with this blessing: May your ruts of routine become grooves of grace.