"Before you can search for truth, you must be interested in finding it." -Miroslav Volf

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Who Are Your Spiritual Models?

I have a question for all who pass by this blog. I welcome any responses you might have, either in the comments section of this post or in response to the Facebook link that may have brought you here. I will likely learn something from you and your response, so…feel free to take a moment and be my teacher. Or you can just ponder the question for a few moments without responding...that might be valuable, too.

My question is this: is there someone whose spirituality—a term I’ll purposefully leave open and undefined—you deeply admire? Is there one particular person, maybe a mentor, maybe a friend, who comes to mind when you think of a really “spiritual” person, someone who has some quality, attribute, way of life, philosophy, pattern of behavior, formal or informal commitments, whatever—who you look to and say something like: “that’s the kind of person I’d like to be.”

I’d love to hear from you. Whether you are spiritual but not religious, religious but not spiritual, spiritual and religious both, or neither. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, or one of the many other religions or spiritualities with which one might identify. Is there someone, other than a particular “founder” or “centerpiece” of a tradition (so not Jesus, Muhammad, the Buddha, Nietzsche, Elmo, etc) who possesses a spirituality that you find inspiring or impressive or worthy of emulation? Someone you’d call a “model”? Someone who makes you think, “if more people were like (this person), the world would be a better place!”

If you don’t want to share their name, that’s fine…I’m more curious as to the why. What is it about this person that makes them a spiritual guide, an exemplar, an ideal? For example, maybe they possess astounding generosity. Maybe they sing songs in church with an inspiring level of passion and abandon. Maybe they live an extraordinarily simple life, free of attachments, material goods, etc. Maybe their prayers inspire you. Maybe they are in touch with beauty in a way you could only hope to be. Maybe they spent countless hours helping people with some kind of need. The list could go on.

They could be someone you’ve never met but only read about. But they might be someone you know personally, someone you brush shoulders with, someone whose life, values, actions, etc. you can vividly draw to your mind because you've seen them in action. What is it about them that makes them a spiritual exemplar, that is to say, a model of what it means to be truly spiritual? Is there something you can point to and say, “that’s it—I want more of that in my life?”

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