Last week we looked at the quote from Ronald Rolheiser, in his book The Restless Heart. There he writes, “Spirituality is about what we do with our unrest…about what we do with that incurable desire, the madness…within us.” I wanted to weigh in with some of my thoughts about this take on an often misunderstood term.
1. Rolheiser makes spirituality a term that defies the dualism that often is associated with the term (think heaven and earth or spirit and body) by tying the term to our drives that move us to action, addiction and/or religion (to name a few things that our spirituality attempts to find relief).
2. The definition opens up our understanding of spirituality that is beyond merely the drive that leads us to beginning a relationship with God. While it encompasses that, it exceeds that staying unsatisfied within us drawing us to continue pursuing after God and his priorities, leading us toward maturity.
3. This understanding helps us see the many substitutes people fill their lives with to meet this unrest and madness are genuinely issues of spirituality (addictions, relational disappointments, false religions).
4. Once our spirituality has led us to the mercy of Jesus; this definition indicates we can begin to trust and listen to our desire, our unrest, our deep down longings as prompts or clues for where our growth points might be in our life with God, God’s people and our relationship with all that has been made.
5. Psalm 103 seems to line up well with Rolheiser’s definition, as well.
Is this a new way for you to consider Spirituality? Is this too simplistic? Do you feel it is helpful? Where do you see desire and unrest fitting in to your own Christian Maturity?
Weigh-in below in the comments.