Monday, October 25, 2010


We are all born into a spiritual construct. My spiritual construct is different from your spiritual construct, and your spiritual construct is different from mine. A spiritual construct is basically the building blocks of spirituality that have been set in place since the day you were born. They consist of things you are aware of, and may consist of things that have been subliminal throughout most of your life. Your spiritual construct reveals your spiritual personality and determines how your spiritual life will flow.

I was born into the Roman Catholic faith, and although I now follow a Protestant theology, my spiritual life has been developed to a great extent by my Catholic upbringing. Spiritual elements like Christian icons, stained glass, candles, meditation and observing long periods of silence are a big part of how I delve into a deeper communion with God. Although Christ is the center of who I am, these are elements that are part of my spiritual construct.

For many years, I rejected anything that was in any way related to Catholicism. In my mind, I felt that anything connected to the rigid and religious structure of the liturgical church was only going to hinder my growth as a follower of Christ. I felt as if I had become "enlightened", whatever that means, and freed from the overly structured and methodical way of faith that I grew up with. But then I went to seminary, and came out feeling as if knew less that I did before, and I became "enlightened" to the fact that I was dead wrong!

What I began to realize is that Christianity is somewhat of a mosaic that makes up the Church as we see it today in 2010. Some of us grew up with the structure of the liturgy, and some of us grew up with the freedom of a congregational church setting. Some of us grew up with structure of conservative spiritual upbringing, while others grew up with the idealism of a more liberal faith. Either way, our spiritual construct was set by those early stages of faith. Right or wrong, good or bad, our spirituality has been developed by where we've been, and that's not a bad thing.

What I have learned through my journey of faith, is that each of us need to embrace our spiritual construct. The mold that has been cast is not necessarily one that needs to be broken and reconstructed. The early path we took in our spiritual development, does not mean we're going in the wrong direction. Construction does not always mean demolition. And If we're honest with ourselves, we can look back over our spiritual lives and see that the building blocks that have been set are elements that have brought us to the faith we have today.

In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul alludes to Timothy's Spiritual Construct. "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God," We have no idea of the details of Timothy's upbringing in the faith. We know nothing of the traditions or spiritual disciplines practiced in his household. But we do know that his Mother and grandmother were Jewish and his Father was Greek. He grew up in Lystra, which was located in modern day Turkey, and heavily steeped in Greek culture. Both of these backgrounds would have been part of his accepting the truths of Jesus Christ when the Apostle Paul first began spreading the gospel in that area. In fact, it's very significant that Paul found it important enough to mention that both Timothy's Mother and Grandmother had an influence in Timothy's strong faith. Both being Jewish, the faith of Israel would would have been a filter that he used in accepting the Christian faith.

Like Timothy, you might have parents or grandparents that influenced the development of your spiritual construct. You may have other family members or friends that have affected your growth, or there might be life events that have added building blocks to your faith. Still there may be some of you that see nothing in your life journey that has had any influence in where you are spiritually. But I encourage you to spend some time meditating on what your spiritual construct might look like. See if you can determine what factors have influenced it. Once you have, embrace those spiritual aspects. Ask God how you can utilize them in your walk of faith this week. Seek how they might become regular practices to draw closer to God, and enjoy your place in the mosaic of Christianity.

No comments: