We’ve begun a summer series focused on the book, Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by Robert Mulholland Jr. We’ll explore the concept of spiritual formation that he compares to a journey and look at it through the lens of summer vacation we’re so familiar with.
I think it’s always fun to engage in some kind of adventure while on vacation. What are some of the more adventurous things you’ve done on vacation? Every gone kayaking on some rapids?
I have not, but it’s something that’s on the bucket list (or maybe the rafting version first). Regardless, when we embark on vacation adventures, we’re getting out of our comfort zone. Whether it’s going on a hike in territory we’ve never explored before, jumping onto a strange horses’ back (things I’ve done), or going to an extreme like bungee jumping (which I haven’t done and isn’t on my bucket list) we’re giving up control and learning to go with the flow of whoever or whatever is in charge.
In the third stage of the spiritual journey, Mulholland writes about illumination. He describes it this way, “rather than my being in charge of my relationship with God, God is given absolute control of the relationship. God becomes present "within us." He becomes the "flow of our life," and is a vital and living reality to our being. This is where we also realize His empowerment.”
When we go on an adventure like those mentioned above we’re giving up control but we’re excited to do it. We’re not having it wrested from our hands. We’re not crazy scared about the future. In fact whether it’s the trail, a horse, a raft, or anything like this, we start to feel connected to them and are thrilled by the prospects of where it will take us. There’s a smile on our face!
In our spiritual journeys after (or probably better to say, as we continue) to let God purge the junk out of our lives, we start to get more excited about what he’s going to replace it with. And we start to really feel God’s hand guiding us. Every day can start to feel like an adventure even if it’s another regular day. We feel God guiding us in interactions with others. We start to feel him nudging us to do and not to do other things, even in ways that surprise us. There’s more of a sense of flow and less of a sense of struggle.
Do you see your walk with Christ as one filled with adventure? Do you feel his presence guiding you throughout the day? We’ll seek more of that as we focus on spiritual disciples which help us get to this place in life.
Hope Lutheran Church & School