“Many people fail to make progress in the spiritual life because they are attached to activities that seem to be important . . . blinded by their desire for ceaseless motion, for a constant sense of achievement, famished with crude hunger for results, for visible and tangible success, they work themselves into a state in which they cannot believe that they are pleasing God unless they are busy with a dozen jobs at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
I’m reading Water From a Deep Well by Gerald Sittser. I’m about 2/3 of the way through and have mixed feelings about it. The book “opens to us the rich history of spirituality, letting us gaze at the practices and stories of believers from the past who had the same thirst for God that we do today. As we see their deep faith through his vibrant narratives, we may discover that old ways can bring new life to our own spirituality.” I have thoroughly enjoyed the historical overview, but I’m struggling processing what seems to be some of the conclusions that Sittser draws.
With that said, I really did appreciate this quote that Sittser offers from Thomas Merton. I know that I have too often equated spiritual busyness with spiritual maturity. There truly are times when we need to just stop, set aside the craziness of our lives, and rest and meditate on God and His Word. We are too busy. And maybe this slowing down shouldn’t just happen on occasion but instead become more of a pattern in our lives.