Most of you know I live in the greatest bike community in America. Durango Colorado boasts of some of the most pristine mountain bike trails the country has to offer. Our community is largely made up of athletes you hear about on major tour circuits, and even has several Olympic medal winners.
We would never think to be one of the "best" in a long endurance style activity, we could just wake up one day and be the best. It takes work. It takes dedication. It takes training!
So why is it, when we look at our own spiritual development, we've been made to think it just happens?
Coming from a pretty conservative school, conservative college, seminary, and long standing core friendships in the most "buckle of the Bible Belt" friends, I missed this. For some reason, I remember people saying
- If you just attend church, God will start moving in your life.
- If you experience pain or suffering in your life just "Give it up and Give it to God"
- Read your Bible
- Obey the unwritten do's and don'ts that support our community
- Make sure you never tread out there in the world out from under God's Umbrella of protection (which ironically was the way they wanted people to live)
Then all would be well.
So what happens when all that stuff doesn't work?
Where are we supposed to go?
Those of us who struggle to understand God's will permeating our lives are considered Hinter Landers that exist outside the mainstream of our community. Is that how we're supposed to work on our spiritual development?
What happens when you do all those things for 35 years and come up short?
Should we just understand God gives insights to those He wants to give insight, and the rest of us are just stuck?
I've got another idea....
What if we started taking our spiritual development to another level?
What if we started looking at our spiritual bodies just like my athlete friends look at their spiritual bodies?
I'm in a group of guys right now reading through a book about spiritual formation, discipline, and training our spirit as we train like anything else in life. It's similar to Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule. If you want to be good at anything, it will take 10,000 hours to perfect your gift. Whether your an athlete, an academic, pastor, teacher, cop, or attorney, we can all take a hard look at our spiritual training.
If you're frustrated where you are spiritually, hang out here for a while. I'm going to start training my own spirit, if you'd like to join me, I'd be happy to share what I'm learning.
Let's train for excellance, not just for some sort of traditional view of faith.