For some of these blogs, I have decided to take one of the questions from the self-care inventory and reflect on it. I hope to jump between categories so that I can create a dialogue about some of the critical questions around self-care that come up on the inventory. I try to look at it once a week, but there is a lot there and sometimes I know I won’t stop to really think about a question. The question, ‘How has my spiritual life changed over the past several months? Years?’ is important for several reasons.
First, if we do not examine, evaluate and monitor our spiritual life we will have a hard time having a healthy, active and thriving relationship with God and therefore others. Each year I get a physical. I also take time at least once a year to get a ‘mental’ with a counselor. I have to admit that I often see the doctor more than once a year and depending on the year and season of life, most years I talk to a counselor more than once a year. If we do not examine our spiritual life, much like we should examine the rest of our life we risk neglecting our spiritual life and health. The demands of life and ministry can squelch a lot in our life, especially our own spiritual life. We give great effort tending to the spiritual lives of others, but must also tend to our own souls as well.
Second, we cannot give what we do not have. If our own relationship with God is not a priority, then it becomes harder for us to give to others. We must be sure to tend to our own spiritual life as an example to others, as a source of what we offer others, and as a place where we can grow and learn ourselves.
Third, we need to recognize that our spiritual life does in fact change and should be changing. We will experience seasons in our own relationship with God. If we do not reflect on and examine these seasons, we miss out on the opportunity for deep growth.
Fourth, if we do not ask this question then we will eventually lose sight of our spiritual life completely. If we are not willing to examine ourselves, we limit our own ability to grow in our relationship with God and therefore limit our ability to be the leader that God has called us to be. We need to stop and examine the trends in our own spiritual lives so that we can celebrate the past, live in the present and move forward in faith towards the future.