Paul writes – This is a reoccurring ‘theme’ on this blog. I wonder how prevalent is Sue Monk Kidd’s experience in the life of our churches? She writes:
“I had spent the time since my conversion (at the age of nine), thinking I’d done more or less all I’d needed to do – I’d received the gift of salvation. Period. Now I had only to work for Him, obey rules, attend church and hopefully I would “grow” (I suppose by osmosis).
Meanwhile I had never cultivated the inner spiritual disciplines which drew God from the periphery to the centre of my life and made him present and real. I had never entered the depths of the spiritual life, the inner realms of prayer. Oh, I knew a lot about God, but I did not know Him in the kind of intimate, encompassing way that transfigures life into and experience of his love and presence…”
The depths, it seems to me, are always inviting us to move from the shallows, whether as individuals or churches (which need to offer a range of ‘spaces’ or wells – from shallow to deep – or as St. Paul says the same thing, “from milk to meat”).