So they get it into their heads that it is ‘arrobamiento’, or rapture. But I call it ‘ababamiento’, foolishness; for they are doing nothing but wasting their time at it and ruining their health . . . I believe the devil would go to any pains to gain such people as that. (Teresa of Avila: Fourth Mansions: Chapter Three)
In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation an’ they gave me a lethal dose. (Bob Dylan)
We gravitate toward time-wasting “spiritual” practices. These practices damage our well-being, our relationships, and distract us from our responsibilities. Sometimes these practices are an inward preoccupation with self. Other times it’s excessive religious activity.
The center of Christian behavior is love, humility, and fulfilling the ordinary responsibilities of life. When religion promises to deliver us from responsibility, we should be concerned because it leads to addiction. Addiction is a tool the devil uses to sidetrack us. Religious addictions are particularly effective because we mistake spiritual activity for spiritual health.
If the devil can’t keep us from spirituality he’ll give us a “lethal dose” of religion to draw us away from love, humility, and ordinary life. We can be “church superstars” or “prayer warriors”, but if our relationships are a mess we have a spiritual problem. This may also be true if we are not addressing core issues related to our health, finances, home, and job.
How about you? Have you taken a “lethal dose” of religion? I encourage you to slash unnecessary religious activity, embrace ordinary life, and center yourself in love and humility. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in pursuing a remarkable life. But let’s build that remarkable life on a solid foundation.
It is always refreshing to hear the voice of someone who is stripping away the ‘to do’ list. From those of us who ‘do’ already, thank you for reminding us to slow the pace and ‘breathe the free air’