Lee Irons has a blog post on Keswick Burnout. If you have been depressed lately over the quality of your spiritual life, this is a must read. Dave Sable has this response to Lee’s post: “Great thoughts by Lee. I downloaded the lectures to listen to. Here are some thoughts his post raised in me. OK, Lee is a theologian and I’m not so he might rip this to shreds. Nevertheless, this is what is working for me now.
For me, I no longer think of Christian spirituality in terms of striving towards a perfect state of being. I no longer think, “If only I just (fill in the blank – reckon my self dead, crucify self, be filled with Christ, master Romans 6, pray more, read my Bible more, deny self, fast etc.) I will arrive.”
This illustration is how I think of things now (I don’t know if it is technically accurate but it is still a good illustration): When a commercial jet is going from point A to point B, it is off course 80% of the time. With wind and heat changes, the jet slightly drifts from its course. The pilot, however, sends a signal every couple of minutes and constantly corrects its course.
To me, this illustrates my Christian spirituality. It isn’t that I never have some really stinky ideas in my head or I don’t react in poor ways. I do drift off course constantly. But as I learn more about God as well as learn about myself, I find that I am able to make course corrections sooner so that I don’t get so far off that I start really making a huge mess of things.
I will never be perfect, per se, in this life. But the spiritual tools and disciplines that I have been given (meditation, prayer, confession, making amends, journaling, teaching, fellowship, communion, etc.) help me correct my course.