Here’s something about life I remember from my junior high biology class: If it’s not changing, it’s not alive; and if it’s not growing, it’s dead. At about the same time, I remember at the Baptist church of my youth I was hearing about being “spiritually mature.” As time went on, I found out that they meant more prayer, more going to church, more offerings (tithing was a given), more of the same. But to me that felt like “going wide” where I reckoned that spiritual growth had to mean “going deep.”
All peoples in all times have had their opinions and insights into what constitutes spiritual growth (and its absence, or “spiritual death”). Spiritual practices have grown up to encourage spiritual growth: prayer, song, chant, various modes of meditation, selfless service, art, dance, deep reading of texts, pilgrimage, retreat, intentional movement (like yoga), journal writing, affirmations, discipleship, altars, rituals, mandalas, labyrinths, star-gazing, and reflection.
In biology, so, too, in spirituality. Some of us are growing up. Some of us are growing wiser. All of us are growing older. None of us are growing alone. Nothing grows apart from an ecosystem, a community of life. Mercifully, blessedly, no one is alone. We are all in this together.
Focusing on spiritual growth, you’re encouraged to: Strengthen your commitment to doing what nourishes your spirit; Maybe consider where you might have felt (or feel) spiritually dead, and how you have (or hope to) returned to spiritual flourishing; And enjoy how your spiritual growth serves, and is served by the church’s mission to nourish the spirit.
– Rev Dave