I was reading today about spiritual formation. I realized how few goals I have.
Some background on that juxtaposition of ideas.
Spiritual formation is a process of shaping that happens to our core. It is happening to all of us. However, we differ as to what we are being shaped to look like or to fit with. Further, we differ as to how intentional we are about the process.
Physical formation–training–equips you to run a marathon. Social formation equips you to function in fine restaurants…or at least to say “please” and “thank you” at appropriate times. In each of these there are things that you do over and over. There are things that you refuse to do. And there are clear desirable outcomes: running the Boston Marathon, climbing a flight of stairs without breathing hard, not getting kicked out of restaurants, having your friends invite you over.
What I realized is that I need to identify some of the same goals for spiritual formation. I need to be somewhat intentional about developing habits that can shape my soul. Because, to be honest, I already have habits. The question is whether they are healthy.
Why does this matter? Because the gates are locked at 8 or at 80 or a 58. Because I don’t have all the time in the world. Because maybe, just maybe, I need to be ready for a marathon of faith. Or maybe I just need to be ready to climb the stairs.
(Thanks to the other Rob for the photo (Robb Lenardson has supplied several of my signs. Rob Hatch is trying to catch up.))
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