Do you attend church on Sunday to lift your spirits and get prepared for the grind of the week? If you are like me, Sunday service has traditionally been the starting point, and, if the truth be told all too often the ending point of my spiritual exercise. If this sounds familiar, like me, you haven’t reached your peak spiritual performance.
How many of us would consider jumping up tomorrow without any stretching whatsoever and running a full marathon? My guess is not many. Most of us have learned the hard way, if we don’t stretch we are likely to pull a muscle. Long gone are the days when I could jump out of bed, head to the gym and walk onto the basketball court without any warm up. In our youth, we don’t need to stretch like we do when we get older. As we age, we lose flexibility in our muscles, joints and tendons (not to mention in our mindset). It takes considerable more time for us to prepare our bodies for physical exercise.
The same is true in our spiritual life. As we get older, we become spiritually less flexible. We have well defined beliefs, we often have long chosen our faith and our church and we are less open to new spiritual ideas and experiences. For many, becoming spiritually less flexible as we age can be a natural unintended consequence of getting older.
Getting spiritually stiff can keep us from reaching the full potential of our relationship with Christ. For this reason, reading scripture and diverse commentary, as well as reflecting daily are increasingly important because these activities allow us to spiritually stretch. In doing so, we broaden our perspective and open our mind and heart for spiritual growth.
Rather than packing all your spiritual time in on Sunday, try looking at Sunday as the day of the big marathon–the culmination of your spiritual preparedness. To get the most out of the experience, train through the week and do plenty of spiritual stretching beforehand. Our relationship with Christ is more rewarding when we take the time to spiritually stretch through prayer, reading and reflection and we don’t have to worry about entering Sunday spiritually in fear of pulling a muscle!
Did you take time to stretch today?