Spirituality is how we are in relationship to God, to other people,

to the world around us, and to ourselves.

Spirituality is the process of staying engaged in these relationships,

the intention we bring to them,

and how willing we are to evolve as the relationship affects us.

Brian C. Taylor, Introduction, Strength for the Journey: A Guide to Spiritual Practice by Renee Miller

 

Recognize this quote? I have used it often in the past two years. For me, this quote brings the ‘Wholeness Wheel’ (to the right) to life, clarifying simply and powerfully the importance of seeing our spiritual identity as including the whole person, and the need to be intentional about caring for all parts of our lives.

 

This quote also reminds me of the greatest commandments: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. This takes intentional work. This takes safe community in which to learn, grow, test things out, get feedback, come along side,  challenge and support one another. This takes a trust in the Triune God to hold us in our journey, and guide us through the wildernesses of our lives. This takes patience, compassion, empathy, vulnerability, courage, creativity and an openness to change. This also takes a belief that you are worthy of God’s love, grace and belonging.

 

This is the whole point of Jesus living among us, dying, and rising again: New life. Restored relationship. Connection to God. For you, AND for me, AND for our neighbor. Jesus’ grace and healing is not just for the individual, it is for the whole community. Jesus calls us back into relationship with God AND one another. Jesus breaks down barriers of class, gender, and race and invites us to stand  before the cross of our judgments, fears, shame, unworthiness and invites us give it to him. Let it go, and let the Holy Spirit’s healing enter in its place. We are worthy of God’s love. Trust that. Share that. Live that.

 

I recently shared two videos by Dr. Brene Brown to start the season of Lent at GST. They offer an avenue into the wilderness terrain of vulnerability and shame, and invites us to reconsider the courage and strength of being vulnerable, which is not weakness, but willing to share your whole heart, your whole person.

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

and Listening to Shame

This brings me full circle, back to the Wholeness Wheel. I wonder what part of the wheel you might focus on this year in Lent. What area is God calling you to explore, to travel, to journey into, and find out more about? There are many opportunities for getting connected with God and one another at GST and beyond. I hope you will choose to be part of one or more of them.

 

May you be both courageous and compassionate this Lenten Season.