Check(in with) yourself before you wreck yourself.
This week on the Bible Story Podcast, Jon Drebert and I (Bradon Pihowich) spoke to our listeners about a simple growth tip. The challenge or tip was to ask yourself, “How am I doing in my relationship with God?”
The question above was prompted by a conversation Jon and I had earlier in the week. This conversation was centered around the discontent in my spiritual disciplines and active relationship with God. I have found myself in this place before, often yearly, like clockwork; following the lull of the Canadian winter and the lack of sunlight, my spirit becomes restless. Although I find this place or emotional state familiar, I have yet to find an answer that works as consistently as the challenge arises.
We all know that “change” is one of the most overused buzzwords of 2020. “Change” rounds out the list of unprecedented opportunities we have learned to leverage through this season of pivoting.
I write that facetiously. However, the fact remains that a lot, if not everything, has changed since February of 2020. This change has fluctuated between minor and major, sometimes within seconds of each other.
After coming to terms with this constant, unpredictable yet somehow opportunistic idea of change, I settled into some new thoughts I hadn’t had before. Nearly every practice and norm of my life had been redefined to the point of only being faintly recognizable of the life I once understood. I am content in this reality (Most days) and find myself enjoying several aspects of the new normal in which we collectively find ourselves.
Eventually, I begrudgingly admitted to God that I found myself in the all too familiar state of spiritual stagnation. This admission was a moment of clarity for me and the reason for this article. I realized that I rarely, within the last 12 months, asked myself, “How am I doing in my relationship with God?” The same question I was encouraging the listeners of the podcast to reflect on—a little hypocritical, if not at least a little ironic.
It dawned on me that I had lost touch with my spirit and spiritual grit amid the conversation Jon and I shared earlier this week. I had failed to see the necessity to change my spiritual practice or routines until I directly felt the disconnect. This recognition is good, don’t misunderstand, and I have taken new and exciting steps to reconvene with God at the center of my life. Although I deem this distinction as necessary, the severity of discontent I had endured still felt unnecessary.
My Social Work and Counselling services background points out a potential cause to the unnecessary discomfort I repeatedly experienced. All of which could have been avoided with an honest answer to my spiritual check-in.
It sounds simple, and it is. To know how we are doing or why we are feeling a certain way, we first must ask ourselves that exact question and be willing to answer it with vulnerability and honesty. Once I responded to this question, I recognized the feelings and thoughts, and actions or changes correlated to a possible solution. Without asking, a possible solution is unavailable; we are simply unable to find an answer to a question that has yet to be asked.
This check-in is also available to children, although we often need to instigate the conversation or spiritual reflection prior to the child being able to promote this thought train, especially when in an emotional or dysregulated space.
Rudimentary questions often slip our minds due to their simplicity. These questions, however simple, are grandiose in their possibility.
I implore you, as I did myself and the listeners of The Bible Story Podcast earlier this week, to ask yourself this question “How am I doing in my relationship with God?”