I find it puzzling that we readily accept the importance of practice in sports, in music, in any successful business, and in any creative endeavor, but for some reason most of us do not see the importance for it in the arena of spirituality, where it is probably more important than in any other area. And, regretfully, many who have adopted a regular regimen of spiritual practices have found that over time these practices degenerated and turned into mindless repetitive obligations. Instead of inviting people into greater depths, rote spiritual practices often freeze people in their spiritual growth. Mindless repetition of the same spiritual practice, with no clear goal or intention, can in fact keep us from progressing.
Unless our spiritual practices keep breaking us into new insights, a greater sense of God’s presence, more compassion, greater love, and an ever-larger understanding of God and ourselves they are of little value. “New wine demands fresh skins or otherwise we lose both the wine and the container,” as Jesus put it (see Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37–38). Spiritual practices, maybe more than anything else, create a new container for us, one that will protect the new wine we wish to take in.
One of the best ways to create new containers is to vary our spiritual practices and to experiment with new spiritual practices, even if they take us out of our comfort zone. An Annual Spiritual Growth Plan Template, completed each January, can provide intentionality and accountability as well as a plan and a path for meaningful engagement with spiritual practices, relationships, and experiences.
The template below is designed to provide a practical way to establish and track annual spiritual growth-related goals and initiatives. A modifiable template and an example of a completed template is provided. Areas that can be tracked include:
Spiritual Disciplines, Practices and Habits: Things you routinely do to connect with and draw closer to God
Spiritual Relationships: The people you have interacted with who have helped shape and form your spiritual life
Spiritual Experiences: Personal and first-hand spiritual encounters, observations, and ventures
Responses to Your Life’s Experiences: Reactions to life interactions, circumstances, challenges and opportunities
Click HERE for a blank template and an example of a completed template.
Click HERE for 25 Spiritual Practices To Nurture The Inner Spiritual Life.
Posted on January 4, 2022