I’m spiritual but not religious. This might be our most common moniker in a society craving reverence. Of course, in many ways, it is an indictment on the organized religions of our land stating that there is a perceptual rift between spirituality and religion. What a horrific statement about the Church! Yet, for far too many, this is their experience. We have traded the unbounded wonder-world which God has given and a lesson of God’s love, grace, forgiveness and presence for menial rules and policies to govern that which is ungovernable. What a complexity!
I’m Spiritual. This, my friends, is the root of it all. Our spirit existed long before our body; it dwells in conjunction with our temporal reality (isn’t that the whole point of the incarnation—Spirit and Flesh intertwine into one); and will continue long after these bodies wear out. I’m spiritual! Authentic spirituality is the pursuit of allowing this fullness to dwell and connect over and over again with the presence of God. When I say I’m spiritual, I affirm that there is a sacred pull and the function of religions is to help put to language the experience, to be a place of gathering for the shared partnership of living, and to invite us into ritual (all cultures have had them!) to be reminded of what has always been true—we are a part of God and God is a part of you.
Hence Paul’s repeated phraseology of “In Christ.” We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5). We are baptized into Christ (Romans 6). It is in our in Christness that enlivens our spirit and awakens our souls. Perhaps you wonder, is this me? Try this on for a moment—have you ever found yourself speechless at the majesty of a sunset? Or, have you ever felt that time slowed and a moment or experience had a way of taking your breath away? Maybe you have sat in a time of worship and you went Aha! These are all glimpses of the holy now which surrounds us and invites our spirit to soar. As one once said, “We are all spiritual beings having a bodily experience!”