"It is the attitude we bring to spiritual reading that allows God to transform the text from interesting words to words with the power to change our very being."
~Marjorie Thompson, Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life
I read many books that are meant specifically to inspire and transform people spiritually. I also read many books that contain factual information whose intention is to impart knowledge. At other times I read books that are meant to entertain, to distract me from the fits and starts of daily life and transport me to some other realm, to allow me to relax and renew.
It is not always the 'spiritual' books that are meant to transform that fill my spirit. Quite often it is the novel or the mystery that provides the hint of the spiritual that I need at that moment. Some of the clearest experiences of the Holy I have had while reading a yarn created by someone whose intention was to entertain but whose words opened a place within me that needed transforming.
Like most experiences in life, attitude and what we bring to a situation, colors the outcome. It is true in our reading,our work, our worship, our relationships. It is true in new experiences and ones we've done over and over. It is true in professional relationships, parenting, and with our partners. Attitude is key.
My mother has always said that, especially with children, when we expect the best of them we are rarely disappointed. If we expect the worst, they usually come through with less than pleasing behavior. Again, our attitude and what we bring makes all the difference.
There is much angst in our world right now. It is quite easy to allow the negative to rule our days. All the angst is real, founded in people's true suffering and systems that have failed us. And yet, I believe, that it is only the creative power of the positive that will open our eyes to the possibilities within this situation. If we wallow in the negative, if we allow the words we use to be merely interesting but not transforming, then there is no room for the Spirit to get into the mix.
Ultimately the choice is ours. Changing the climate of our nation, of our world, is not primarily up to elected officials or those 'at the top' but up to regular people, like you and me, going about their daily lives, seeking out the words, the people, the situations, that have the power and promise of 'changing our very being.'
It seems to me it is the perfect time to expect the best of one another. I am willing to give it a try, are you?