Journey With the Spirit

A young family of swallows recently “graduated” from a nest right outside the window of our bedroom. They have been chirping from dawn to dusk for several weeks now. I was outside watering my flowers the other morning, right under the eaves where they have made their nest. Something caught my attention. It was the quiet. I realized that they had all flown the nest. They have graduated to a larger world—a greater reality. With their expanded world will come an expanded range of new opportunities and responsibilities one of which will be to feed themselves.

So it is with us. Each time we grow our reality expands and with it comes new opportunities and responsibilities. Many of us are reluctant, however, to leave the nest of our comfort and security. We have grown accustomed to the predictability of our lives and it feels safe and comfortable. Besides, leaving the nest might necessitate our learning to feed ourselves.

The Apostle Paul addressed this tendency in the church by telling the believers they were like infants who were ready to progress to solid food but preferred to stay on a diet of milk. The milk was their initial understanding of the gospel and the solid food spoke of service to others and of their soul and character development.

They were reluctant to move beyond the basic knowledge of knowing Jesus. We could compare this tendency with wanting to stay in the nest of the basic doctrines of religion. Or to just sit in the pew and keep it warm being hand-fed by the preacher week after week. Leaving the nest is not to leave the church but to start taking responsibility for the feeding and tending of your own soul. This is the path of gnosis. Pursuing it opens greater possibilities in your spiritual life

The reluctance of the early Christians to progress in their spiritual understanding is similar to the church today. Not much has changed in the human tendency to want to be hand-fed and carried along. It takes some personal effort to fly and there are added responsibilities and opportunities, but at some point we must leave the nest of being dependent on others for our spiritual growth and learn to entrust our spiritual education to God’s Spirit.

God will safely lead us into a greater, more beautiful reality. The Spirit will lead us, teach us, and grow us. We don’t leave the church we leave behind our dependence on an organization or a person to tend to our spiritual development. We learn to rely on Spirit instead. Eventually, we start families of our own (discipleship) teaching others how to fly with the Spirit of God, growing and learning more about the beauty of a relationship with God.

It is worth the effort to learn to fly, to learn to find your own source of spiritual food, to realize the necessity of feeding one’s self every day, but the benefits are out of this world. Being a lightworker in God’s kingdom is the most exciting adventure in this life. We can trust that we will be guided and nurtured every step of the way.