In preparation for Workshop #3 for the Renewal Works team we were introduced to the five Best Practice Principles of spiritually vital congregations. I gained information and insight from reading about each of them but the one practice in particular that stood out to me was “Get People Moving.” The reading suggests that this includes “welcoming and incorporating newcomers,” but goes on to say that it’s more than that. “It’s about communicating to everyone in the congregation, new and not so new, that they are on a spiritual journey.” Al that moment my own spiritual journey crystallized and I saw it for what it truly has been and continues to be.
Ten plus years ago my life looked pretty normal on the outside but on the inside there was a relentless hollow space. When trying to ignore it failed I attempted to address it by “borrowing” an Upper Room daily devotional from a local church when I dropped my grandchildren off at their preschool. The first thing I recall reading was “Self absorption is a sin.” It didn’t seem to apply to me until I realized that worrying, which was/sometimes still is my basic operating strategy, is nothing more than self –absorption. This experience gave me something to build on and from there I progressed to reading The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. There I learned something about the human condition, myself and God and the hollow spot abated just a bit and I sensed that I was on the right track. From that time forward I’ve earnestly looked to God to help me find my way to the next book or class or means of filing that original void and He has faithfully guided my path.
Footsteps describes spiritual growth as “taking the steps needed to deepen relationship with God, with neighbor, with the world, and with ourselves. “ But for the Renewal Works project I would never have recognized my own spiritual journey for what it has been and most importantly for what it will continue to be in my life and mean to my life. I look forward to sharing the results of the project with each of you in the near future and I look forward to continuing our spiritual journeys together.