One of the things I wrestled with when I was discerning whether or not I should got to seminary was with my own spirituality. I have never considered myself an overly ‘spiritual’ person – whatever that means (see previous post). I guess I thought I just wasn’t close enough to God to be able lead others spiritually. I thought I needed to have some sort ‘super-relationship’ with Jesus in order to be a pastor.
What I’ve been learning in seminary this semester is that I do, in fact, need to work more on my relationship with Jesus – and rather than being ashamed of that fact, I’m learning to be OK with it.
For the first time in my life, I’m learning what the phrase “Spiritual Journey” is all about. I’m learning that I don’t need to have a higher/deeper/stronger relationship with Jesus than anyone else. However, like everyone else, I need to have a very clear recognition that I need to be constantly striving toward a better relationship with him. It is a journey, a process – a process of sanctification.
I’m learning that I don’t need to have all the answers, I just need to have the desire to come along side people and learn with them, discern with them, grieve with them, and grow with them. In doing these things, I’ll be showing the love of Jesus to them – and that’s what discipleship is all about. Yes, I do need to be able to provide answers and wisdom. But it will always be answers and wisdom that come from the Holy Spirit, not from me. I’m just his agent.
I can’t (and won’t) pretend that I’ve got some sort of magic bullet of spirituality that can make everything better. What I can do, is understand and appreciate the fact that I am on a spiritual journey too…just like the people that I minister to.
We’re all on a spiritual journey and we’re all in different places on that journey. Because that’s true, we all have things to learn, but we also all have things to teach. We all have a part in the redemption story…be proud of your role and take pride in the roles of those around you. Someday when I’m a pastor I hope be both a teacher and a learner.
I’m not a spiritual superstar…but on my spiritual journey I’m learning more and more each day about the One who is.