Some of my favorite times in the woods are when things are not quite clear. Clouds, like heaven reaching down, filter through the trees. Ghostly trunks stand out of the mist like distant soldiers on guard. Suddenly your senses are alive, alert. You know there is something beautiful out there just beyond sight, just beyond sound, just beyond yourself. And–nerves jangling–you wait.
That same mystery and anticipation I’ve found is part of trying to see the God-given soul in life. Or as we have named it here: living spiritually. But as I’ve ventured into the fog, I’ve glanced back now and then. Ironically that is when what this adventure is all about has become more clear. Today’s blog–and the next to follow–will feature reflections on a few of the things that I now see have helped me go deeper in my spiritual life.
I Woke Up:
Someone once joked, “Statistics show most car accidents happen within a mile of home; so I decided to move.” There’s a twisted kind of truth in that jest. Ruts and routines can be dangerous.
I’ve called 2012 “The Year of Living Spiritually.” I could also call it “The Year I woke Up.”
Not paying close attention to God, people, and the life around me was much like being in one of those half-sleep, half-waking dreams. You see it–and maybe remember it–but it makes little sense.
I’ve found that paying attention has been a simple way to see and better understand the spiritual all around me. A friend of mine has this quote at the bottom of all his emails. It never fails to stun me. “Today I woke up. Some didn’t. I think it’s gonna be a great day. I’ll take advantage of it.” Baron Batch
I Tried Something New:
A few months ago a friend, Cliff Hutchison, asked me to write a few more lyrics for a song called Love Like You he had started. The idea scared the Sam Hill out of me. Why me? I thought. I’m a story-teller. I am not, I repeat, am not musical. I took poetry writing classes in college and found rhyme and lyric constraining.
Against my better judgement I gave it a shot. I think it turned out pretty well. But more than that, it opened my eyes and heart to so many new things. The song is about our mothers and I now appreciate my late mother better. And the song writing process itself, with such a talented man, was amazing and humbling. Sitting in my study, Cliff played his guitar while we puzzled over just the right words and images until something beyond both of us was born. It was a profoundly spiritual moment. One I never would have experienced had fear reigned.
A professor of mine once said, “God is often in the green edges of new opportunities in your life.” This has been true for me this year.
Both of the above ideas were things I more or less stumbled upon, as if trees in the mist. What have you discovered that helps you live spiritually?
*Eugene C Scott believes that life–especially spiritual life–is much more complex and rich than can be described in a blog. But he hopes these thoughts help. He is also co-pastor at The Neighborhood Church.