For several years, including while I attended seminary, I was a gym rat. At the gym, I put in my ear buds and tuned out the world so I could develop my physical strength. As I did, I discovered that my spiritual strength increased also.
My time in the gym actually deepened my prayer and meditation practice; I learned to tune into myself, trust my intuition, and listen to my still, small voice. Even as I moved my body, I learned how much spiritual strength I needed to be still and patient, especially at a time when I was learning new things and living in an unfamiliar area. Since I had no outer assurance of future employment or any idea where my new vocation would take me, I chose to stay strong in my faith.
Our quality of spiritual strength includes our ability to:
- create stability on a shaky foundation;
- be still and patient;
- remain non-resistant and non-attached, especially in the face of uncertainty;
- embrace our own humility and limitations;
- accept what we cannot do or control;
- change direction or attempt something new;
- endure challenges and persevere in spite of them;
- discern when and how to act, rather than react;
- maintain the balance between our heads and hearts; and
- trust in divine outcome, even when we don’t yet see it.
With spiritual strength, we become more centered and peaceful, even when every fiber of our being screams: “Do something already!” Because in truth, spiritual strength often says: “Don’t do something. Just sit there.”
Perhaps you’ve noticed, Blessed Reader: Sometimes we need a lot of strength to go alone to the “mountaintop,” be still and work on ourselves. Then, we realize we need even more when we leave the mountain and attempt to be present with people who may say and do things we not only don’t like, but possibly deplore. That’s when our spiritual muscles work the most.
As we develop our spiritual strength, we learn to trust and use our intuition – the “God Guidance” so many of us seek. We find assurance as we discern how to live, not just when we love everything in our lives, but also — and maybe especially — when we don’t. We discover, as we continue the journey, that our spirituality isn’t only about our relationship with God. It’s also about our relationship with others, how we see them and how we treat them. And, as we remain steadfast, centered in faith and trust, we remember the divinity within ourselves — and we recognize the divinity in all others, too.
© 2016 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.