I’m speaking on spiritual and emotional health at Redeemer Church in Modesto, my home church, August 10th. Our pastor handed me Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero (Nelson, 2006) last Sunday, and I am eating it with a spoon! My outline went pretty close to what Scazzero says, but he says it with such pizzazz (and he has more than 30 minutes), and puts the “so what” and “how do I get ‘er done?” to it. He’s real, too. Gives his shortcomings as well as his ideas.
OK, I know you’re salivating, so here is a little taste of the book:
“Emotional health and contemplative spirituality offer three primary gifts.
Each enables us to participate in the enormous transformative power of Jesus Christ today. They are:
- the gift of slowing down
- the gift of anchoring in God’s love
- the gift of breaking free from illusions
… Beyond my times of reading the Bible, I now needed time to pay attention to what was happening within me each day so that I could bring that to God also. Rather than keeping busy to avoid my inner pain and disappointments, I needed space to explore my feelings and wrestle with anger, shame, bitterness, grief, jealousy fear or depresson – in an open, contemplative way before God. I began to journal what I felt as I interacted with people and circumstances throughout a day. In the beginning, my “feeling muscles” were so weak I had difficulty distinguishing anger from sadness from fear — or sometimes feeling anything at all. … “
I can totally relate. Just so you don’t think, “Oh crud, here’s another Christian thinking of loads they can pile on my already overloaded schedule,” let me say that to find time to do the above he says he stopped helping God by “birthing Ishmaels in my attempt to help God’s plan move forward more efficiently.” If you don’t know the Ishmael story, it’s in Gen. 16:1-3.
I’d say the process is spending more time alone with God so that we spend more time with him when we’re doing things. Interesting concept, yes? Make a comment. This topic is in my bones and I want to talk.