How to practice spiritual formation (even if you don't have time to shower everyday)
Let me be embarrassingly honest with you. I don't shower every day... or even every other day...
Well, let me rephrase that, I don't get time to shower every day.
Oh how I wish I could, though!
In this season of life, I take a step back and assess the chaos that is my schedule. I work full time as a chaplain in one of the biggest Christian homeless ministries in the city. I also serve as a pastor and elder at my local church, taking on the tasks of shepherding, preaching, and teaching. I am also married to a wonderful wife, who is actively working as a professional counselor at two different counseling agencies. We have two little girls (4 and 1) who mean the world to me... but man are they a handful! Oh yeah, on top of all this, I am also currently enrolled in a doctoral program which is every bit as demanding as it sounds. (Ok... Yes, I do have to admit that I have a problem with slowing down and letting go of ambition, and No, I won't change anything... for now...)
Here is the thing - the program I am enrolled in is a Doctor of Ministry program that focuses on spiritual formation and leadership. And this program has greatly challenged me to not only consider, but practice spiritual formation every. single. day. And at the onset, I asked, "How is this even possible? I don't have time to take a shower every day, much less contemplate and pray!"
Perhaps you've felt this tension too.
"How could I possibly fit anything spiritual into my life?"
When people think about the idea of spiritual formation, images of robed saints, nuns, haloes, and monasteries come to mind. The idea of living a life steeped in prayer, contemplation and peace seems like the stuff of a bygone era. As a popular internet video once preached: "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
In the age of fast food, high speed internet, and unlimited accessibility, most people manage to fill every nook and cranny of their day. The daily demands of work and family squeeze out any semblance of a social life. And many of us feel glad if we even conjure up a single prayerful thought at all in the relentless onslaught of the daily grind.
For millions of people, this avalanche of activity takes it's toll on our souls. We feel tired. We yearn for something deeper. And as we pour out our lives into the commitments in this world, we see the internal warning lights that tell us we are running low on gas. We know we ought to tend to our inner lives, yet the demands of our world keep rolling in. Its like this world doesn't care if we are spiritually healthy or not! (Please tell me your caught that sarcasm).
Is it possible to practice spiritual formation in the world we find ourselves in today?
The answer is - YES!!!
You can practice spiritual formation every day, even if your calendar and common sense says otherwise!
The reality is that spiritual formation was never meant to be relegated to the spiritually elite in monasteries and abbeys. Jesus invited all people of all ages and all stations of life to live an abundant spiritual life here and now. And here is more good news: you don't have to abandon your families, quit your jobs, or carve out huge chunks of time in your schedule to deepen your spiritual life.
You can live meaningful lives of deep inner peace and spiritual satisfaction here and now.
Would you like to learn how?
Then stay posted as we begin our first series of practicing spiritual formation in everyday life :)
Looking up together with you,