“Spiritual”

Much as I’m drawn to this adjective’s definition 1 (pretty much just because it has the word “immaterial” in it), I’ll actually be dealing with the second and third definitions, here:

2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.

3. Of, from, or relating to God.

            I’m not really comfortable talking about spiritual things – or deep things at all, really, unless I’m feeling particularly artistic and the topic relates to my writing. I’ll talk about just about anything I can relate to my writing, ‘cause it’s my passion, like that. Particularly at this time of year – right on the doorstep of my second National Novel Writing Month – it would be only natural for my entire consciousness (and much of my subconsciousness) to be consumed with matters of plot-structuring and character-making and hanging out on forums with fellow lunatics in pursuit of fifty-thousand words scribed in thirty days or less. Up until about a month ago, I was rubbing my hands in anticipation of this return to total NaNoWriMo immersion.

            Then, one evening I thought, Treat God like a passion.

            Because I don’t. And that bothers me. I know God is important; that’s been a given since before I became a born-again Christian at the age of five. And maybe I’m crazy, but I’m pretty sure that something as huge as one’s loving, all-powerful giver of life should get more attention than a few minutes of Bible time in the morning, grudging weekly church attendance, and prayers essentially comprised of “Thank you for this, now can I have that, please, please, pretty please?”

            So, Okay, I thought. Treat God like a passion. Don’t wait until it feels like a passion (as I’ve been doing all my life, because I’m irritatingly feeling-centric), just do it and trust that the feelings will follow. How to get started?, I wondered. And when? Some random day in September seemed a tacky time to kick-start my self-imposed spiritual boot-camp; sure, there’s something to be said for a “no time like the present” mentality, but I preferred to start out on a fresh month. October wouldn’t do, since I had it locked in as my novel prep month. And then of course there was November itself, where even physical nourishment would come second to cranking out the minimum daily word-count. I supposed December—

            Don’t do NaNo.

            …Wait, what??

            Don’t do NaNoWriMo, the thought persisted. Make November your PerGoSeeMo – Personal God-Seeking Month.

            For several minutes after that, my thoughts mostly consisted of a panicky/despairing, “But, but, but, but, but…” What about my second annual NaNo? What about my plans? What about whatever awesome book I would have written in thirty days?

            You don’t put off a passion for two months.

            *Cussword*, I thought sadly. Relentless Little Thought was right. If I was going to take this seriously, I had to show myself how serious I was. And for me, that meant my first PerGoSeeMo.

            Fine, I thought, since my brilliant “But, but, but” argument wasn’t holding up as hoped. So what will I be doing instead of having fun?

            Notwithstanding my dubious attitude, I came up with a plan: Three consecutive hours in the morning – what would otherwise have been writing-like-the-wind time – will be Bible-reading time, and chatting-to/listening-for-God time, and… writing time?? I did a double-take at that.

            Why only read psalms, said Little Thought, when you can write them?

            And for a few minutes, there, my feelings were actually on board. I felt excited. I wished it were November, or at least closer to it. I wanted to pull a David – that veritable minstrel-king of Israel– and get my psalmody on! Just writing this now gets a tiny tickle of that excitement going again.

            But it’s not about the feelings; it’s about the passion. It’s certainly not about trying to impress anyone with my spiritual life (which I’m still not comfortable talking about, by the way); it’s about my being really unimpressed with my spiritual life and taking steps to do something about it.

            From what I’ve read of his best-selling anthology (referring to the Bible, of course), God’s all for passions, and doesn’t grudge our having them. He simply wants to be Passion Number One, like we’re Passion Number One for him. It’s time for this author to spend more quality time with hers.

            I’ll start with November, and see what comes next. I’ll still have all of my waking hours minus three to work on a novel if I wish (and it’s me, so of course I wish), but it won’t be a NaNo-palooza. (And that means no fooling around on the forums until December, Little Thought and I tell myself sternly). Fifty-thousand words in thirty days is awesome; but this November, I’m aiming higher.

Edit: Interested parties may view my PerGoSeeMo psalms here, at the Ever On Word page named for them.

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10 thoughts on ““Spiritual”

  1. Fantastic way of looking at things. As a Christian, we do put aside our studies, and I think it’s great that you’re participating in PerGoSeeMo. It really has me thinking about this. Treating God like a passion is a wonderful way of looking it as well. 🙂 Brilliant post.

  2. Sounds like a great plan! Yesterday, I read the story of Daniel and the lion’s den to my seven-year-old. Daniel prayed 3 times a day. I’ve been thinking, I need to deliberately set aside time during my day to talk to God. For years now, I’ve been reading my Bible in the mornings, and talking to Him before drifting off to sleep, but it just doesn’t seem like enough. Granted, I shoot Him little messages throughout my day, but I don’t actually set aside time for Him. My days are busy and hectic, and it seems like He and I would both enjoy a little time together when I’m fully awake and at the top of my game. Another thing I’ve been trying to get away from is ritualistic praying or getting stuck asking for (or even thanking Him for) the same things over and over. I’ve been trying to be more real, more conversational, like I actually believe He’s a person, you know? My best friend? I would also like to develop a better Bible study system than just reading it through over and over. Any ideas? Maybe you’ll come up with some brilliant ones over the course of Novermber! Be sure to keep us posted!

    • Pretty much same here, as far as the schedule you described. “Too little,” spirit convicts, “and too much by rote.” November’s going to be a challenge, no doubt. I’ll be sure to keep my heart open for epiphanies to share!

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