Into the Mist: Going Deeper Spiritually

By Eugene C. Scott

Some of my favorite times in the woods are when things are not quite clear. Clouds, like heaven reaching down, filter through the trees. Ghostly trunks stand out of the mist like distant soldiers on guard. Suddenly your senses are alive, alert.  You know there is something beautiful out  there just beyond sight, just beyond sound, just beyond yourself. And–nerves jangling–you wait.

That same mystery and anticipation I’ve found is part of trying to see the God-given soul in life. Or as we have named it here: living spiritually. But as I’ve ventured into the fog, I’ve glanced back now and then. Ironically that is when what this adventure is all about has become more clear. Today’s blog–and the next to follow–will feature reflections on a few of the things that I now see have helped me go deeper in my spiritual life.

I Woke Up:

Someone once joked, “Statistics show most car accidents happen within a mile of home; so I decided to move.” There’s a twisted kind of truth in that jest. Ruts and routines can be dangerous.

I’ve called 2012 “The Year of Living Spiritually.” I could also call it “The Year I woke Up.”

Not paying close attention to God, people, and the life around me was much like being in one of those half-sleep, half-waking dreams. You see it–and maybe remember it–but it makes little sense.

I’ve found that paying attention has been a simple way to see and better understand the spiritual all around me. A friend of mine has this quote at the bottom of all his emails. It never fails to stun me. “Today I woke up. Some didn’t. I think it’s gonna be a great day. I’ll take advantage of it.” Baron Batch

I Tried Something New:

A few months ago a friend, Cliff Hutchison, asked me to write a few more lyrics for a song called Love Like You he had started. The idea scared the Sam Hill out of me. Why me? I thought. I’m a story-teller. I am not, I repeat, am not musical. I took poetry writing classes in college and found rhyme and lyric constraining.

Against my better judgement I gave it a shot. I think it turned out pretty well. But more than that, it opened my eyes and heart to so many new things. The song is about our mothers and I now appreciate my late mother better. And the song writing process itself, with such a talented man, was amazing and humbling. Sitting in my study, Cliff played his guitar while we puzzled over just the right words and images until something beyond both of us was born. It was a profoundly spiritual moment. One I never would have experienced had fear reigned.

A professor of mine once said, “God is often in the green edges of new opportunities in you life.” This has been true for me this year.

Both of the above ideas were things I more or less stumbled upon, as if trees in the mist. What have you discovered that helps you live spiritually?

Eugene C Scott believes that life–especially spiritual life–is much more complex and rich than can be described in a blog. But he hopes these thoughts help. He is also co-pastor at The Neighborhood Church.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Into the Mist: Going Deeper Spiritually

  1. You’re sounding like a coach as well as a pastor, Eugene! Waking up is a wonderful part of life. I’m happy to be on that journey with you.

  2. Georgie-ann

    What have you discovered that helps you live spiritually?

    minimize excess electric

    look at the sky

    do not be afraid to be alone

    do not be afraid of quiet

    do not be afraid of your thoughts

    listen to your heart

    follow your nose

    let your “no” be used to filter out the ungodly and excess

    otherwise, always try to say “yes”

    be kind

    be at peace

    pray always, in love faith and trust

    • Great stuff, gGorgie-ann. I like that minimize excess electric.

      • Georgie-ann

        thanks,… one thing about wanting to be able to say “yes,” and also wanting to remain peaceful, is that it helps eventually to subtly guide our “path” choices,… it becomes easier to simply avoid the (useless) “traps” and “snares” and “pitfalls” that would become unnecessarily aggravating and challenging to our peace,… we’re really not obligated to participate in absolutely everything that’s “out there,”… and then, usually, we’ll also be surprised by some of the wonderful things that we’ll discover, that we never even knew existed before!,… you can’t give up something “earthly” and not find something much better spiritually in its place,… it just doesn’t happen!

      • Georgie-ann

        So,… it looks to me like “going deeper spiritually” might be a little bit like trying to listen/pay attention/”hear”/”tune in to” a very important voice on a very important “phone call” to us, that: (1) we need to make some special efforts to help get our personal direct reception “right” and as clear as possible, and (2) we may also need to eliminate/minimize some of the regular and routine ambient “surrounding sounds”/noise/vibes and distractions that could also be “drowning out” and interfering with hearing this “signal”,…

        In a sense, we need to know/believe that there is something more transcendently positive “out there” — (and/or “inside” — but this is NOT a contradiction! — our own personal spirituality “travels with us” wherever we go!) — that we need to connect our personal attention with,… or, we could also say that we “need to get on its wave-length”,… and the Word of God is meant to help us in this way, very definitely,…

        Apparently, it’s NOT our default setting as adult “human earthlings”,… but God does tell us that children ARE closer to the kingdom of God,…

        Matthew 18:3 ” … ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’ ”

        Matthew 19:14 “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ ”

        How we value, protect, and take care of Life and God’s greatest gifts to us is an important indication of the spiritual level of our culture, and ourselves personally,… do we care?,… can we see?,… are we listening?,… are we willing to “trust and obey?”,… Even if it seems, for a season, that “no one else” cares about/values these things?,… First of all, we are responsible for our own personal lives before God,… It all begins there,…

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