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The Spiritual Perspective

woods scene dayspring w cBy Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of theirLeading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog and is one of the social media coordinators for the Shalem Institute Facebook page.

If you’ve read other blogs here you may have seen the one called The Spiritual Practice of Saying “No.” 

It talks about how the sense of not having enough time can get in the way of one’s spiritual life. It has/does with mine. But I realized it’s all in my perspective.

At this point in my life, I’m pretty good about setting aside time and meditating just about every day. Most days I take a walk and meditate for at least part of that time. I consciously bring God into my large and small decisions, and do a decent job of living contemplatively. But, I still realized I was always feeling like I just didn’t have enough time: rush, rush, rush.

I recently met with my spiritual director and we talked about this sense I have of life being ever so full: two jobs, kids, fiancé, family, friends, etc. It’s all great, wonderful stuff that fills my life. It’s not like I would give any of it up. So how do I get rid of this sense of needing to do something, to stop doing something so I have more space and time?

After one of our silent periods of prayer with my spiritual director it came to me. It’s not about doing or not doing something. It’s about being differently. I DO have enough time with God. I DO have everything I want. I just need to see it differently. I’ve got it all already and I AM being fed by it.

I led a retreat at Dayspring Silent Retreat Center recently, and as I was introducing the theme for the weekend, I said that the silence was a time of abundance, not lack and that I knew that might be a different perspective, but to try it. We could focus on this being a time of deep listening instead of not talking. Funny how some form of the advice we give is meant for ourselves. I love the silence and the listening it holds, but I too needed to take a look at my general spiritual perspective.

A simple shift in how I see things and suddenly I feel better. Okay, so I’m still tired, but I am coming from a place of abundance, not lack and that makes all the difference.

What is your experience?

9 responses to “The Spiritual Perspective”

  1. a quiet walk says:

    Thank you for this. It is something I needed to hear because I too often feel I don’t give enough time to God. But your article has opened me up to all the times when I have been in the middle of craziness and still offered a thank you to God, or just took a couple of deep breaths to find that space within. I just don’t always notice I’m doing it. From now one I am going to be more aware of those moments when life seems to full.

  2. OH! I totally get what you’re saying. I find myself frustrated at not being able to fit in enough spiritual “practices.” I even feel I’m going backwards at times – I don’t do my centering prayer nearly as often as I used to. I was talking to my pastor about this and he said, “Did it ever occur to you that maybe you ARE centered?” Hmmm – BEING centered vs. DOING centering. I’ll never stop “doing” that form of meditation altogether,but maybe there is a season for other pursuits or nonpursuits?
    Another friend likens this to the season of a garden – there’s a time when you don’t have to work so hard. You’ve spent a lot of time weeding and watering and pruning and now your garden is just producing an abundance of nice, ripe produce. Hmmm, again.
    Thanks for the food for thought! Hope to see you at Dayspring. I had my first retreat there in May – very sweet.

  3. careyleah says:

    This seems to be where I always end up. I’m reading a book about the brain right now–looking for some ‘practical’ suggestions for rewiring my inclination to DO rather than to BE. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. ” I DO have enough time with God. I DO have everything I want. I just need to see it differently. I’ve got it all already and I AM being fed by it.”
    Thank you for this refreshing perspective. I have always been a “seeker” but of late know that it is time to be a “finder”. The whole notion is that I already have all that I need that I don’t have to pursue one more certification or learn a new spiritual practice. I have done all that for years, and now, I can enjoy the fruits of many years of practice (while of course still practicing). The fruits for me are contentment with the present moment and knowing that I am enough.

  5. I LOVE the idea of silence as a time of abundance. It is so countercultural, but so true! Thanks!

  6. I see the spacing got lost in the ether. Let me try again:

    abundance

    a bun dance

    dance
    dance
    wherever
    you may
    be

    be
    cause you
    we
    have enough

    so
    snag a snack
    a bun

    take this
    bread

    this is
    my
    body

    eucharist

    thanksgiving
    you turkey

    a
    bun
    dance

    abundance

  7. a quiet walk says:

    Michael, I love your poem.

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