Connecting differently.

I sent Nancy a text: “Getting ready to run.”

She wrote back: “Enjoy the beautiful weather.”

I shook my head. I don’t run for the weather. I don’t run for the enjoyment. I was training.

I headed out to run. Sunny with a high of 75. It was cooler than the previous month, and the humidity was lower. But I wasn’t interested in the context, I was focused on the task.

IMG_0998And I remembered, again, that Nancy and I are different.

She loves to be outside. Gardening, walking, sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee.  I love to be writing. Mostly inside. Still with the coffee, but not with the bugs.

In Sacred Pathways: Discover your soul’s path to God, Gary Thomas finds reasons for our differences that go beyond simple indoor / outdoor people contrasts.  He suggests that there may be nine difference spiritual temperaments or personalities types that can explain our differences in connecting with God.

His list includes naturalists, sensates, traditionalists, ascetics, activists, caregivers, enthusiasts, contemplatives, and intellectuals. Nancy is clearly in the naturalist and caregiver areas. She feels more connected to God when she’s outside and when she’s caring for people. And when she’s taking care of her mom’s garden for her dad, that’s a powerful time.

I’m much more of an intellectual and ascetic. Simplicity, study, and quiet are part of my worship. And when I run, I listen to podcasts because they engage my mind.

One way that Thomas talks about these differences is to point out that a Sunday morning service may be helpful to some for worship, but very unsatisfying for others. Which is why I’m grateful that there are 167 hours in a week outside the hour for Sunday morning services.

Back to the run. I did notice the weather. But I also listened to a podcast that made me think. Because that’s part of my personality. My spiritual personality.

(first published August  29, 2016)

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If you are curious, one online version of the instrument is at http://northpointministries.org/misc/sacredpathway.html. However, it’s a churchy instrument. I’m still looking for an instrument that’s not so churchy. Like the questions I offered yesterday.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.