Thursday, March 30, 2006

A little somethin' about spirituality

I remember the first time I called my mom after an appointment with my Spiritual Director. I was bursting with the excitement that comes for me when "things" are coming together and someone is guiding me and there's hope in the future and peace about the past and I'm resting solidly in the grace that I cling to as a Lutheran.

There was silence on the other end of the phone. "Your what?" Mom asked tentatively, not wanting to upset the somewhat fragile mother-daughter balancing act.

"Well, Mom, she's someone I'll see once a month and we'll talk about issues related to the church and my ministry, what it all means; she'll sort of be like a pastor for me."

"Oh. Uh-huh. Of course. Is she Lutheran?"

"No, she's Catholic; she's a nun."

"Oh. Well, that's interesting."

Which translates to: I have no idea what else to say about that Dear Daughter so I won't say anything else at all!

There's nothing specifically "Lutheran" about having a spiritual director. However, there appears to be something new (or re-newed) about paying attention to our spirituality. While we have always professed that we are saved by grace through faith apart from works, we haven't always been very good at living that out or paying attention to what it means without cheapening it and using it as the easy way out.

Having someone in my life to hold me accountable to living fully in God's amazing gift of grace is incredibly important, lest I forget and start measuring my worth as a pastor (person?) by how many people were at the Bible study or the comments people make after the sermon or whether I get to preach or not. First and foremost, I am a child of God -- washed in the waters and fed at the table and sent forth to bear the message of God's redeeming love to the world. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering that.

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