Monday, February 12, 2007

Spiritual Metaphors

During the PMC cluster meeting this past weekend, we spent part of the time with David Wray guiding us in spiritual formation activities. One of those was a reflection on a series of metaphors for spiritual life - spiritual life is like a journey, is like a struggle, is like a river, etc. As we were discussing in our small group one of the guys said that the whole exercise really didn't connect with him. I think that's an important concept to remember as we continue engaging in conversation - that some processes, some activities, some delivery media will make a connection with some people, and not with others, and that's ok.

I think it's also important to realize that some things connect on an intellectual level, others on an emotional level, and that it is good to have balance. Beyond these levels I think there is a largely untapped (at least in my experience) spiritual level. It is at this level that we get the smallest glimpse into the nature and heart of God.

The metaphor that did connect with me is reflected in the subtitle of my blog site - spiritual life is a journey. The journey is sometimes difficult, sometimes dangerous, sometimes lonely; it is sometimes stimulating, sometimes rewarding, sometimes shared and made easier by companions along the way.

It's like traveling through the plains towards a mountain. At times the mountain is so clearly visible it seems that you could just reach out and touch it; at times it is shrouded in clouds and you can barely sense its shape. Between you and the mountain are unseen crevices and smaller hills, and occasionally you can lose site of the mountain. Sometimes there are detours and distractions, and sometimes you can get off course. But no matter how deep the ditch or how wide the plains, you constantly reorient yourself and continue the journey towards the destination.

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