The Spiritual Quest - Part 1
I have great news for you – God is loose! From humankind’s first spiritual yearnings and awareness that there is a great, organizing principle to the universe that we call God, we’ve tried to put this Ultimate Being into a box that can be identified, comprehended and bent to our will.
We’ve organized vast numbers of religions around God, each slightly different from the others, and then rushed to battle over the differences. We fight because the box into which one group wanted to put God is bigger or smaller or differently shaped than the box into which another group wanted to confine God.
Because of those differences, some argue that any group other than their own does not worship the same God as they do. As a Christian, I firmly believe there is only one God.
I also know people understand God differently. Most of the world does not understand God as He revealed Himself through Jesus. They don’t comprehend God as three Persons in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But if they yearn for, seek and bow down to God, they are humbling themselves as the created before the Creator.
My act of faith is that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God and that His death on the cross and Resurrection from the dead is a historical fact and a spiritual truth. I have no idea why God planned it that way.
I believe that God loves us and has gone to the extraordinary measure of taking on human form so that we can actually relate to God despite our very limited human capacity – and that His will is that all be saved.
Here’s the thing: There are people recognized as spiritual human beings, even by those who would not describe themselves as spiritual. The Pope, by his election by a conclave of the College of Cardinals, is recognized as an international spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama is recognized as a spiritual human being because of the equanimity and pervasive personal peace that emanates from him. Billy Graham is a spiritual person in the traditional Christian sense and is extraordinarily charismatic.
Humans know we are more than our frail flesh. We have in common an urgency to be a part of something bigger, to be a part of the great, vast Whole. We’re aware of a spiritual self that yearns for God in whom we can find meaning.
The term “spirit” refers to the “animating or vital principle” in humans and animals. It comes from the Latin word spiritus – soul, courage, vigor, breath.
If you have no regard for your spiritual life, or for that of your family and friends, how can you as a leader nurture that “vital, animating principle” in others?
Being spiritual also means maintaining a balance between duty, responsibility and personal meditative experiences in which you renew yourself and listen. If you don’t use it you lose it. It’s not enough to know about prayer, to read about prayer, to discuss prayer with your friends and hear sermons about prayer. Only the act of prayer, the intentional communing with God, will accrue the benefits of prayer.
How else will you tune your dial to that Great Broadcast beyond you? And once you break through the clutter and begin to receive nudges static-free, you must lock in that frequency and preserve it by whatever means necessary: silence, prayer, meditation, mentorship, seminars, and conversations with wise and spiritual people.
In the face of many other definitions – often conflicting – true religion as defined in the Bible is pretty simple:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27
That’s where I’ve come down. That’s what I’ve carried out in my life. I’m so fortunate to have been able to find that sweet spot in life and career that so matches my heart and fits the biblical definition of pure religion.
Spirituality doesn’t exist in and of itself. You don’t just determine one day to be spiritual and then pencil a week into your calendar to go off on a spiritual retreat and “find God.”
Would you have a better life, a more spiritual and fulfilling life? Then do the work to discover your passion and find significance. Once you discover it, ride the wave.
What you want is a relationship with the Universal Spirit, with God. Here are some basic steps:
Reflect on what you hear.
Ask, “What do I need to do?” My spiritual question is not “What would Jesus do?” My spiritual question is “What would Jesus have me do?”
Do it. When you hear a nudging answer, you are empowered and commissioned to do it. You have to execute, move out and do it. Or else the revelation just sits there.
I’m a more positive person today. I fill my thoughts with positive things and I believe that living in the spirit of gratitude is the key to happiness. It’s a key to the whole process of developing your spirituality.
Your attitude is more important than your mental capacity when it comes to developing your spirit. The Apostle Paul wrote: “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” – Philippians 4:11
Try it – you’ll like it!