spiritual: adj [ME spirituel, spiritual, fr. MF & ML.; spiritus spirit, breath + -alis] 1. of, relating to, or consisting of spirit: of the nature of spirit rather than material 2a. of or relating to religious or sacred matters b. sacred 4b. seeking earnestly to live in a right relation to God
implication: n [ME implicacioun, fr. L implication-, implicatio, fr. implicatus] 1. the act of implicating or the state of being implicated a. archaic: a twisting together b. close connection, relationship, or involvement
I have been an academic most of my life—had the druthers to go become a professor of medieval drama and literature, actually, before I finished my master’s and realized my heart wasn’t there anymore. I looked at where I was spending my time and energy; where my mind went when it wandered, and what I was doing when I was late to meet a friend for coffee. It was a growing love affair with God and His bride, the Church—which makes for an awkward threesome made even more so if you think about the Trinity aspect of it. It’s a crowded kind of love.
I became a Christian in 2007, but I’ve been around religion to various degrees my entire life. As I get older and deeper into my faith, I find myself becoming quite passionate about this Kingdom idea, this group of people who follow a God we can’t see because of a Book most of us can’t read in the original languages. Why is that? And why, when we have such language as “brothers and sisters in Christ,” do we have eleventy million denominations (yes, including Catholics, because there’s that “one holy catholic apostolic” idea I find a bit important) with very little agreement on the finer details of this massive body of believers?
I don’t know. I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I’m discovering that in asking them, and in truly seeking the path God wants for me, I am surrounded by spiritual implications of the search. I am now a divinity school student on my way to becoming an elder (in-church pastor) in the United Methodist Church. This is terrifying, horrifying, and absolutely fabulous, so in figuring this out I’m reading, and thinking, and praying, and experiencing. I’m trying to walk without looking for the path markers, trusting that God knows where they are and will lead me to the ones I need to find.
So here, in this pool of the wide waters of the Internet, will be book reviews of any book related to any religion, here will be rants and celebrations of the (often surprising) places God shows up in my life, here will be my exploration of whatever being Called ends up looking like. I’ll try to post on Fridays in a somewhat consistent manner; if I miss one, please understand that I’m in academia, so parts of the year are a bit crazier for me than others. As to names, I’m using a general outline of characters stolen from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, because it is not my place to tell others’ stories verbatim, and also I hope you can find some of the same applicability in Christiana Pilgrim and her world that I have. The journey is far more important than my name, I think.
I have accepted that God will lead me wherever He wants me to go; some times I’m better at standing by that acceptance than others. The result will never stop unfolding, but it is already an entirely different place than I had in mind—I hope that, in teasing out the ways God is leading me, I can hear some of your stories and possibly be a fellow traveler with you in your own journeys.
For you are with me always.