Spiritual formation is the heart of who we are and what we do. We spend our time helping people allow God into their lives to form their spirits. We encourage others to make space for God. Yet we so often fail to heed our own advice.
These are the words of Chuck Sackett, reflecting on re-entering pastoral ministry after a quarter of a century teaching in a seminary. Allow me to quote further from his article on preaching and pastoral ministry, the lines leading up to the above quote:
For approximately fifteen years I met with a small group of professors for spiritual formation. We studied together, prayer together, laughed and cried together, celebrated and commiserated. To this band of brothers I owe my spiritual sanity.
Spiritual formation takes time and discipline. Spending time with God requires. . . spending time.
Ministry concerns; sermon preparation and marriage counseling; vision development and staff relatonships all command your time and attention. A segment of your day given to Scripture, prayer, meditation, journaling, solitude, silence (you name the discipline) is a luxury you feel you can ill afford . . . so you move on from the important to the urgent. And in the meantime your soul withers and dies.
So we come back to the initial quote – spiritual formation is the heart of who we are and what we do. But do we take our own advice?