I have been reading an inspiring book entitled Spiritual Genius by Winifred Gallagher. She looks at 10 ‘masters’ and the quest for meaning. One of the passages early on in the book has really stuck with me and yesterday I had the opportunity to present it as a ‘conversation starter’ (we don’t do sermons per se) at the Loft.

All of us use our spiritual genius some of the time. We might not recognize it as such, but we tap it whenever we “just know” that something is happening for a reason that, to paraphrase Blaise Pascal, “reason does not know.” Spiritual genius tells us that, despite the chaos and confusion around us, everything is all right, so we might as well be nice. It tells us that if we take on a worthwhile challenge, we’ll somehow find the necessary strength and help. It tells us that our true self is more that a bunch of personality traits and problems. Like a compass, spiritual genius always points us toward a reality larger than the ego and the status quo. Once we members of the meaning-seeking species find our place in the grand design, we’re able to gather up the pieces of our everyday lives, making a coherent picture out of what can seem like an impossible puzzle.

I tried something a little different by reading it like you would a passage of scripture and then circling back and going through it ‘verse by verse’. I thought I would post some of it here in the hopes of encouraging you today.

All of us use our spiritual genius some of the time. We might not recognize it as such, but we tap it whenever we “just know” that something is happening for a reason that, to paraphrase Blaise Pascal, “reason does not know.”

It is illuminating to recognize that you have spiritual genius inside of you. That is not to say that you are a spiritual genius or that you have a spiritual genius inside of you. What you have, however, is access to spiritual genius. Nov20sw1

There is a passage of scripture that talks about a “peace that surpasses understanding” and we can rest in that. By God’s spirit, we have access to a strength that transcends our ability to comprehend or master the information about the circumstances that surround us. We have stories in the gospels about a ‘power’ that is asleep in our boat in the midst of the storm. That old line ‘Hope was asleep at the back of the boat’ is a funny reminder that we are provided in the christian narrative a peace in the midst of the storm.

Spiritual genius tells us that, despite the chaos and confusion around us, everything is all right, so we might as well be nice.

I am the oldest of 4 siblings and developed a little bully streak when I was younger. I was a jock in high school (captain of the football and basketball team) and that fed my inner ‘jerk’. Pour on the gasoline of immaturity and I had a full-blown fire inside. I was prone to angry outburst and even into my early years of ministry, I would ‘vent’ in angry rants.

I repented of this whole fiery permission 7 or 8 years ago and have watched that fire crumble into a pile of little embers. Once in a while however, I am surprised that it will flare up out of nowhere. I have noticed a pattern: Every time I get angry it is a result of 1 of 2 things – either I am not getting my way or I don’t know how this chapter ends.

I have grown fond of talking about the ‘spirit of adoption’ from Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4: 4-7. This is part of your spiritual genius. When you receive the truth that you are accepted, approved and adored by God, there is peace and strength that surpasses your ability to understand your circumstance and allows you to be the full version of you … even though you don’t know how this chapter turns out.

It tells us that if we take on a worthwhile challenge, we’ll somehow find the necessary strength and help.

The walk of faith requires 2 things:

  1. That we participate in something bigger than ourself and are concerned about something other than yourself.
  2. That we step into that endeavor before we have secured all of the resources for it.

It is in that place that God meets us with that which we lack but so desperately need for the thing that we have been called to.

It tells us that our true self is more that a bunch of personality traits and problems. Like a compass, spiritual genius always points us toward a reality larger than the ego and the status quo.

Your spiritual genius begins with a confession that are more that the sum of things that can be measured. There is something about your life that is greater than what can be seen. The struggle is getting outside of the ego and not accepting the status quo. This means fighting for something that is both bigger than you and may not even profit you – it also means not accepting the ways things are as the way that will be or should be.

Once we members of the meaning-seeking species find our place in the grand design, we’re able to gather up the pieces of our everyday lives, making a coherent picture out of what can seem like an impossible puzzle.

Life is messy. It is mis-matched mixed-up collection of experiences, relationships, assumptions, attitudes and limitations.

Here is the possibility and the payoff however: IF you will bring your spiritual genius to the table, it makes us all better. When we all bring our spiritual genius to the table, each of us is better. 

You have spiritual genius in you. How do access it? On what worthy endeavor will you spend it? 

Advertisements