My gas grill is old. It still works fine, except the starter, the igniter. One click used to do the trick. Then it was two or three clicks. Maybe you need a new igniter for your spiritual life. Maybe using matches will be fine. Maybe it’s time for a new grill. All you know for sure is the igniter isn’t working anymore.
If you have found yourself in a spiritual rut and unsure of what to do because your familiar igniters no longer work, here are three things you can try to help you get back on track.
1. Write a Thank You Note
Most people I know are grateful. They recognize that what really gives them joy, what is really important in their life, may have required hard work, but that there are many things beyond our control which conspire to provide what gives us joy. Creating gratitude lists regularly benefit many people. However, when you’re looking to jump stat your spiritual life, gratitude lists can lead us to either feel guilty for not keeping one regularly or guilty because you do keep one and still aren’t grateful enough to ward of a spiritual rut.
When you want to jump start your spiritual life, it can help to keep things simple. First, accept that you are probably grateful enough. Then do something simple. Write a thank you note. Thank you notes have a way of opening us up. If it’s an overdue thank you note for something specific, then you’ll feel relief for doing it. You might also consider a thank you note that expresses gratitude for a friendship or family member. Writing a thank you note can help you move into a more receptive place and prepare the way for a new season spiritually.
2. Walk Slowly
When we say we have a “spiritual life,” we imply that there is a part of our life which is separate from other parts of our lives. In addition to a “spiritual life” we might have a “social life.” We might refer to our physical health as our “physical life”. We might differentiate between our “personal life” and our “professional life.” Compartmentalizing this way can help us simplify our complex lives.
However, our lives do not simplify easily. Compartmentalizing this way can lead us to discount the influence each area has on the other. Next to breathing, walking may be the most overlooked treasure available. Walking offers more than a means of transportation. Walking offers us an opportunity to listen in ways we cannot sitting still. Once upon a time, we walked everywhere. Walking provided a break from business and time to listen to one another, to ourselves, and to God.
To receive the spiritual benefits of walking, try walking slowly. You may not even need to go outdoors of this kind of slow walking. Take ten steps, slowly enough that you kind feel you foot roll from your heel to your toes. Be aware of how your weight shifts from back to front. Bring your feet together. Repeat. Do this three days in a row and you will be more aware of your steps throughout the day and when you notice your steps, you will be refreshed and more aware, more open (even for just a moment).
3. Talk to an Atheist
Talking to an atheist is probably counter-intuitive to someone seeking to re-ignite their spiritual life. However, atheists can be inspiring to be around and most are not like the atheists we know in the public eye. The atheists I know don’t have a desperate need to criticize religion nor are they nihilists (rejected all religiosity and seeing life as meaningless) and hedonists (unbridled pleasure seekers). In fact, they share something in common with me: a desire to cherish life. Trying to convert an atheist is really not much fun for either party. However, asking an atheist thoughtful questions can be energizing. Questions like, “What gives you joy?” “When you think of success, who do you think of?” “How would you describe the God you don’t believe in?” You may discover you have more in common than you think!
How you arrived where you are today is not getting you where you want to go. You might not even we sure you are headed in the right direction. There are many ways you can re-ignite your spiritual life, but these are three that help me.
How do you reignite your spiritual life?