As we develop on our life’s journey toward wholeness, every human being feels a yearning inside for freedom and fulfillment. Initially, each of us yearns to live life free from worldly concerns. Next, we seek the respect and love of family members and associates. Then we begin to think of making a contribution to the world. These urges compel us to seek their fulfillment, and on occasion, we succeed. However, there is a greater desire, the desire for a life that includes love of others, service, and freedom from worldly concern. It is a desire to live a spiritual life, a life centered in God.
Some of us may have attempted to live this life and thought we had failed. We may have put aside for a time this “absurd” notion of a life whose center is God, but then the urge returns, as if to say that what we yearn for can be realized.
A Daily Guide to Spiritual Living provides daily encouragement to the person who has allowed this divine desire to become life’s motivating force. This guidebook is more than words to read; it is a companion for the journey. It is designed to be used for one full year, but it can be utilized over and over again. As the daily lessons are practiced, know that you are not alone. Many people around the world are united in the desire to live a spiritual life and in the study and practice of the lessons of A Daily Guide to Spiritual Living.
A Daily Guide to Spiritual Living is divided into four sections of thirteen weeks each. Each week addresses a central theme, and the seven days of that week contain ideas that complement an and expand upon the weekly thought or concept. These daily lessons are not just read, but experienced, for they ask your persistent participation. At times you are requested to express a thought or share a feeling. On other occasions, you may be enjoined to repeat a thought silently, to pause for a few moments throughout the day, or to record in the guidebook an impression or a dream.
These lessons invite your daily attention. This is helpful, for a spiritual life requires commitment and daily practice. From your persistence will come fulfillment stretching far beyond human imagining, because God has prepared for you peace passing understanding, a joy that is full, and an everlasting love.
As you work with A Daily Guide to Spiritual Living, set aside twenty minutes each day so you can gain the maximum benefit from its use. Some lessons call for an action to occur early in the day, so you may wish to set your regular study time shortly after rising or to scan the next day’s lesson the night before.
The Sacred Human
Innate to all men and women is the spiritual search. Discontent first mounts this expedition and makes us seekers, but there will be other leaders on the journey of life. Just as hunger and thirst are the body’s first prodding to care for itself, so discontent will motivate us, but one day it will become fulfillment an and discontentment.
Take a moment to be still and become aware of your divine discontent. Today it may seem unsettling, but before the search progresses far you will bless this feeling.
What areas of your life seem incomplete? Use the shortest description you can to indicate these areas of daily living, but be sure that what you write brings to mind easily and quickly the area or areas that seem lacking. List any areas of your life that seem incomplete:
After you have briefly described the area(s) of your life in which you feel discontent, proceed to Week 1, Day 1.
Week 1, Day 1
Discontent is evidence that a greater good is knocking at life’s door. The spiritual journey, like all journeys begins with a simple step. Oddly, that which leads to the highest and most fulfilling life often begins with discontent. We know that life can be more than it seems to be: there fore, we are motivated, but often not to live a spiritual life. One initial motivation is to dispel pain. If the pain subsides, we breathe a sigh of relief and forget the spiritual search, but in a short period of time the discontent returns, and we seek again.
Today, let us acknowledge our discontent and this helpful insight. Unhappiness is evidence that a greater good is available to us. For instance, assume you are sitting on the back porch of your home reading the evening newspaper. Someone comes and tells you that there is a visitor at the front door who wants to talk to you. The knock on the door may be perceived as an intrusion, but what if the person at the door is delivering a gift? Discontent is the person calling us to rise, open the door, and receive the gift.
If you experience feelings of discontent today, refuse to consider them a curse. Instead, declare: Discontent calls me to rise and open the door to a greater good.