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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Essence of Spiritual Life

Hi Friends,

In my reading this week, I came across this passage on the essence of spiritual life written by Evelyn Underhill. The thoughts and observations struck me, especially today as I'm preparing to have lots of girls over for
our Christian Cowgirl sleepover event. Today, it's very tempting to surrender to "the busy click-click" of life, just as Evelyn warns against.

Anyway, here is what she says:

"Thousands of devoted men and women today believe that the really good part is to keep busy, and give themselves no time to take what is offered to those who abide quietly with Christ; because there seem such a lot of urgent jobs...to do. The result of this can only be a
maiming of their human nature, exhaustion, loss of depth and of vision; and it is seen in the vagueness and ineffectuality of a great deal of the work that is done for God. It means ...surrender to the busy click-click of the life of succession; nowhere, in the end, more deadly than in the religious sphere. I insist on this because I feel, more and more, the danger in which we stand of developing a lopsided Christianity; so concentrated on service, and on this-world obligations, as to fofrrget the needs of constant willed and quiet contact with that other world, where fro mthe sections of service and the power in which to do it proceed. We mostly spend those lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do. Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, polical, social, emotional, intellect ual - even on the religious - plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs has ultimate significance, expect so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having, and doing, is the essence of a spiritual life."

A little dense reading-wise, but good stuff! I find that I can easily get caught up in the to-do list and fail to just "be" before God. And then, just like she says, I lose depth and vision.

So, a prayer for us: Lord, help us all to Be first, to connect with You, to bask in the wonder of Your presence. May we resist the temptation to want and have and do before we want You, have You, and rest in You!

A blessed weekend, filled with some quiet moments to enjoy God and be at peace before him to you!!