Spiritual training: distraction and the unwritten note.

I was shoveling and writing. The kind of writing you do in your head when your body is working steady but not too hard. And when you are not thrilled with the work you are doing.

I was writing a note to a couple friends. I wanted to challenge themselves to do something bold, something that would be a step of faith and faithfulness. I wanted to challenge them to end each their days with more on the “to done” list than successfully navigating episodes of video.

It was a challenging and convicting note, because even as I was writing it in my head, I was examining my heart and my hands. “How well am I showing this kind of living?” I thought. “How wholehearted am I about pursuing faith?” I thought.

I finished the driveway and the sidewalks. I went inside. I brewed a cup of tea with the water Nancy had started heating. I fried my morning eggs and grilled the corn tortilla on the gas burner. And I went to my desk to eat and think.

blankTwenty minutes later, as I turned on the water in the shower, I remembered the note I had been writing. As I washed my hair, I realized that I knew more about what other people found worthwhile to “like” on Facebook. And I knew more about the messages I had not received in gmail. And I knew very little more about grace and love.

And I hadn’t written one word of the note that was so clear in my head while I was out shoveling.

I still have to write that note. I owe it to my young friends. But it will be a note that starts with more confession than confidence.

It’s a note that will start a lot like this.


This is what spiritual training involves.