The word “spirituality” tends to sound like something radical. Ordinary spirituality seems like a compromise—some sort of contradiction. Isn’t spirituality something for Christians who want to live a more radical life? These concerns are nothing new.
Back in 2005, Mark Galli, the editor of Christianity Today, interviewed Eugene Peterson, a famous pastor and author. In the article, “Spirituality for all the Wrong Reasons,” Peterson gives old answers to the current questions by insightfully challenging contemporary assumptions about spirituality, church life, worship, and church growth:
Spirituality is no different from what we’ve been doing for two thousand years just by going to church and receiving the sacraments, being baptized, learning to pray, and reading Scriptures rightly. It’s just ordinary stuff.
I’ve been a pastor most of my life, for some 45 years. I love doing this. But to tell you the truth, the people who give me the most distress are those who come asking, “Pastor, how can I be spiritual?” Forget about being spiritual. How about loving your husband? Now that’s a good place to start. But that’s not what they’re interested in. How about learning to love your kids, accept them the way they are?
Since this interview was conducted in 2005, it may seem like old news. It is old news, but it’s still relevant and we forget it all the time. Nobody is really attracted to this form of spirituality as it is much too ordinary, but this is what Scripture teaches everywhere.
Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology by Eugene Peterson