Taking Stock

Posted on June 10, 2008. Filed under: Spiritual Musings |

There are times in everyone’s lives that they stock of where they are, what they’ve done and where they are going. About a year ago I’d gotten into quite a deep depression because I was taking stock of my life every couple of hours and coming up wanting. Thankfully my life began to get some traction again and I don’t spend the majority of my days lamenting the path that I’ve taken. Not that it’s not wise to do that every once in a while, just not all the time.
There are times when you also need to take stock of your life spiritually. I learned a long time ago that when we wish to look at how we’re doing in our pilgrimage of faith we need to look at it in snapshots. I cannot compare where I am today with where I was yesterday. I’ll only get disappointed and disheartened. It’s been a long time since I’d done it last and recently it was kind of forced on me.
Someone mentioned something to me recently that really got me to thinking about my growth, or lack thereof, over the last few years. For a while I could look at my life and see consist growth. Then I hit a wall and I pretty much know where that wall was. The problem with it is that at the time I don’t think that I knew that I’d hit a wall.
Maybe it’s due to the fact that I didn’t do any sort of stock taking for awhile. Maybe it’s because I thought that I was doing just fine. I think that I’d achieved that level of intellectual arrogance where I thought it was time to stop learning and time to begin to merely absorb, that the spiritual side of the Christian life had taken a back of the bus seat to theology and life itself. I know that with a job, no school, no one to really talk to about spiritual matters and the problem with the pain killers had lent to the neglect of my spiritual life.
Examining my pilgrimage I’ve come to discover that there are plenty of things that are lacking in my life. I think about Galatians 5:22 and the Fruits of the Spirit (which I’m thinking about doing a small series on) and how my life has not seen an increase in or is completely missing many of things in that passage. I’ve been trying to think of why these things are missing in my life, what it means and what needs to be done to change.
I know that I’m not content. I know that things need to move forward. I know I long for the old days when it used to come so easy. Maybe this is just another part of the growing process. Maybe this is the spiritual equivalent of moving out of the house and realizing that your parents were right. I don’t know and I won’t pretend to know. But I’ll try to keep you informed and maybe someone else can join me in the same sort of examination and we can grow together. The invitation is there, I’m willing to start down a new path in my journey and I’d love some company.


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2 Responses to “Taking Stock”

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I think I’ve been right where you’re at a hundred times or more over the last 15 years. I seem to frequent that spot – knowing I need to get back into the relationship side of my relationship with God, but never sure how I got away from it or how to get back to it. In my last trip away, I got myself so stressed out that I was past the functioning level and “my life had become unmanageable.” And that’s when God pulled me aside for a weekend retreat (and let me assure you that the events getting me to that particular retreat were miraculous and contrived – it was clearly God forcing the issue).

I think that weekend was the first time it ever hit home that maybe God wanted to spend time with me. Not that it was my duty or responsibility to spend time with him. Not that I needed help, therefore I sought God. Not that I was being a spiritually undisciplined child and needed to get back on track. Just that HE wanted to spend time with ME and give me some relief. The verses that kept coming up in all my Bible studies were – Come away and rest a while (Mk 6:31); take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt 11:29-30); and come to the waters you who are thirsty (Isaiah 55) – all of these are paraphrased of course. It’s worth reading the real deals, because – wow, how beautiful!

I’m not sure I have a moral to this story because I don’t think anyone except God himself can make something like “God wants to spend time with you” sound believable at all. People have told me that for years, and I always thought it was a bunch of crap. God did his part, now it was my turn to do my part – it was my duty, my responsibility. But now I’m seeing a different side of God, the side that takes seriously the responsibility for finding his lost sheep, no matter how many times they wander off. And I’m the worst at this because I’m a capable person! Seems like the more capable you are, the more you feel it’s your job to manage the world – or at least your own world.

Anyway, that particular road trip taught me that God really wants to help me through this life. And also it was a reminder of how sweet, sweet, sweet it is to be in the presence of God. Something about sitting down with a Bible and praying makes you feel so refreshed and renewed. Sometimes I think He lets me wander off at times to remind me of how sweet it is to know his presence for the first time.

[…] I’d recently done some soul searching, reexamining my life and the way that I’ve treated people.  I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like the path that I was taking.  I was falling victim to the abrasiveness and lack of compassion that I had sworn off 10 years ago.  […]

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