One of the greatest secrets of spiritual maintenance is there are four things to avoid. With a positive focus on avoiding these four things, spiritual growth and abundant joy can be almost anybody’s.
There are some enormous parallels between physical safety and spiritual safety. This is why I love the tie-in between my two vocational roles.
There are four reasons why we can end up spiritually bereft to the point of bankruptcy. These are if we’re rushing or frustrated or fatigued or complacent—or a combination of two or more of these. (It is no coincidence that these four are also the biggest main personal causes of physical accidents leading to self-injury.)
When we’re rushing spiritually we’re taking short-cuts and we’ll often make the wrong decisions, for we’re not properly weighing things up. If we rush our devotions or our prayer time we’re likely to derive very little from them.
A pattern of rushing makes for slow spiritual starvation. We’re only grazing along at the surface food, leaving all that dense and lush spiritual foliage untapped.
As a state, like a cat on a hot tin roof, this is being fractious and angrily disillusioned. We’re clearly looking in the wrong areas, and we’ve been sent there because we’ve been nowhere good. Spiritual frustration has about it the way of the world encroaching—our goals are not being achieved. Our expectations are unrealistic.
This is about covetousness beyond us and God. It relies on something beyond us that only the world can provide. It’s easy to become frustrated when we’re dependent on things that are unreliable, untrue and partial. The world is a poor substitute for God.
This is a common dilemma in this day. People are just trying to keep up and the lack of real ‘meaty’ spiritual food is despoiling us. That or we’re taking on too much.
A good spiritual regime and diet—and some good old fashioned wise common sense for self-control—are the things to ward against fatigue. Fatigue is actually very easily countered if we’re disciplined in our daily maintenance routines. A little done continually is enough usually to keep up.
This is an odd-ball that fits with all of us. We all get over-confident and some way ahead of ourselves. If we’re blind to the warnings, thinking bad things won’t hit us, we’re blissfully ignorant. But, that won’t do us much good when we not only stumble but we fall too.
All of these four states above—when we’re rushing, frustrated, fatigued or complacent—add up individually and collectively to a lack of wisdom, for wisdom is simply applying truth to life, practicing it.
When we’re rushing, frustrated, fatigued or complacent we clearly haven’t abided to God’s law regarding simple cause and effect.
Rush things and quality goes out the window.
Allow chaos long enough and frustration is inevitable.
Getting fatigued is a process—how did things get so bad? Why didn’t we heed the warning signs?
And complacency—though we’ve all been there—is basically unforgiveable. And still we’ll be prone to it in a good variety of areas in our lives.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.