Gratitude is known instinctually for times of spiritual ease. Put another way, with cognisance of dark times the brighter times beckon want of no return there. That pain we learned from—and we’re glad—but to revisit items of torment is, for us, unnecessary.
In an earlier article I posed four causes of spiritual harm:
1) Rushing the spiritual activities of life;
2) Entering and staying in frustration;
3) The influence of fatigue; and,
4) Common complacency—pride before the fall.
Rushing, frustration, fatigue and complacency are all key causes of spiritual harm.
1. Slowing to Tortoise Pace
Against the prevailing world’s concept for development and enhancement, we all know how the story of The Tortoise and the Hare (an Aesop fable) finished.
Rushing things of quality is a folly of cataclysmic proportions, though we’re unlikely to see it beforehand. The reason we don’t see it, is the journey into the Diluted Abyss happens at super-slow-mo speed. Wisdom it is that predicts the event and caters for it before it’s begun.
We should try not to rush what is underpinning our faith, joy, hope; the right approach to life. Quality is preciousness.
2. Problem-Solving Frustration
Sources of frustration, especially those caused by our spirituality, require a search.
Searching requires tenacity; the ability to keep foraging even when there are scant results for searching. The harder the search, the more frustrated we become. But know this: faith is enlarged via this very process—patience is weathered in the midst of the storm.
We daren’t go off the ancient path provided for by God to seek peace from the world. The world knows nothing of real solution to these frustrations of ours. It can only convolute what may already be patently scary.
3. Fatigue – Battling the Result
Fatigue is a common influencer of spiritual torpor. It’s hard to know what’s the cause and what’s the effect—fatigue can seem both.
Ironically, it’s the skimpy spiritual diet that doesn’t sate that’s responsible.
What’s screaming out to us is the need for spiritual refreshment, but that can seem a long way off in the status of exhaustion. Like all maladies it’s a good idea to chip away at life in any genuine way of rejuvenation, a moment at a time.
Sometimes it’s learning to rest; to surrender... to re-enter life gracefully. Other times it is modifying approaches of response so risks are better managed.
Whatever, the issue of fatigue is an important lesson; we’re brought to collapse so as to learn how to disentangle ourselves and in that not to become tangled again. The person burned-out is being equipped for a wiser life. What other purpose can be gleaned from it?
4. Complacency’s Charge – the Commonest Enemy
Human beings are by nature slovenly. It’s as if there’s want for the recipe of the good life and there we settle; or at least we don’t settle until we have it... and thus we’re never satisfied! Never is life fully good.
What a twisted paradox that is; greedily we forage for an easy life. At any time along the journey there’s temptation to stop swimming for or against the flow of the implicit river.
Complacency is lack of vision for the tidal rip taking us well off course, i.e. beyond our will or ability to see truthfully what’s coming.
The concept of the ‘fear of the Lord’ is the best thing to address complacency. That is to know how important humility is to our spiritual survival, growth and journey. We ought to pray each day for our humility—and practice it. Best is made a continual study of it.
Humility will save us from the scourge of complacency—the luxurious life that insults God.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: to the SafeStart process founded by Larry Wilson and used widely throughout the world in the prevention of injury and illness. This fourfold structure is taken from it. Website: http://www.safestart-safetrack.com/general.htm.