If you missed last week’s post, I talked about a book that has had a profound impact on me, and that book is called “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality,” by Pete Scazzero. I read this book eight or nine years ago when I was approximately twenty-four years old. I had not experienced even a small percentage of the trials and triumphs that I’ve faced since then and I’ve realized that many of the things in this book have been lost in my memory.
Lost, But Not Forgotten
I say lost, but as I’m reading some of my notes inside the margins of the book, many truths are coming rushing back. I warned you last week that this book is definitely one that you want to take your time with. It’s not that it’s a difficult book to read, but if you’re in a place where you want to go deep and wide and better understand the deeper spiritual meaning behind your spiritual life, then this is a great book for you.
The first few sections introduce us to the concept of our “family of origin.” Basically, if you’re a Christian, you have a family of origin that includes your earthly family, complete with all of the habits and personality traits and dysfunctions intact. Where we come from is a part of who we’ve become. However, when we become followers of Jesus, the power of those sins (and blessings) that we received from our families are replaced with God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness and all the many other blessings He gives us in our lives.
I’ve heard this story many times and it’s never “clicked” until now, but in Luke 10: 38-42, when Jesus visits Mary and Martha, it’s mind-blowing to me how much I’m like Mary in this story. She so frantically tried to work hard and get everything right. I bet you’re like this sometimes, right? I am cringing now thinking about how much this is me, and in Scazzero’s book, he asks us to recognize our need for what he calls “contemplative spirituality.”
Essentially, this just means that our lives, our schedules, are too cluttered and this prevents us from being able to truly reach a level of reflection (or quiet time) that brings a sustainable life with God and others.
This is where “The Wall” comes in.
The Other Side Of The Wall
Scazzero created his own adaptation of a model created by Robert Guelich and Janet Hagberg from their book, “The Critical Journey: Stages In The Life of Faith.” Below is my translation of the diagram that outlines our journey through the Wall and it will give you a perspective of where you are in your life:
STAGE 1: Life-Changing Awareness of God(Where we realize our need for God, some of us get here when we’re young and others, like me, realize our need for God when we’re adults.)
STAGE 2: Discipleship(The Learning Stage is where we take this new awareness and begin seeking knowledge of what it means to have experienced this newfound awareness.)
STAGE 3: The Active Life(Taking what we’ve learned and putting it into practice.)
– T H E W A L L –
STAGE 4: The Journey Inward(After having made it through the Wall, we are drawn to a further pursuit into the heart of God.)
STAGE 5: The Journey Outward (Where we have experienced another internal shift in our lives after having been through the Wall and allowed God to do a work inside of us, we return to the external living out of our faith.)
STAGE 6: Transformed By Love(This is where God’s love and mercy is made real in the events, circumstances, tragedies, and people that He places in our lives that keep us on our toes.)
Like I said last week, and made sure to remind you today, this book is INSANELY deep. Despite its intensity, it gives you a sense of clarity and a joy in knowing that it’s natural for us to struggle with reaching a place of peace in our spiritual lives, where we become emotionally healthy.
Allow this all to sink in over the weekend and just ask God to reveal to you what stage you are truly at. By understanding where you are and having a clear path of where to go from there, you will be able to experience God in a fresh, new way!
Cheers until next time!