Monday, September 20, 2010

Weather-Proof Spirituality

This past weekend felt life autumn in Connecticut with cool mornings and warm, sunny days in the 70's. Even though astronomical fall arrives on Wednesday, fall weather often comes earlier here.

Taking advantage of this excellent weather, I did two hikes over the weekend. Hiking in fair weather is a soul-nourishing experience. You don't have to continually wipe sweat out of your eyes or brush away mosquitoes like you do in summer. Neither do you have to negotiate icy trails and cold temps like you do in winter. And you don't have to slog through mud as you often do in spring.

I wonder: Is good weather a precondition for finding one's spiritual connection? I hope not. I want a weather-proof spirituality. I want a spirituality that isn't dependent on the changing conditions of each day. I want to be able to discover a spiritual connection in stormy times as well as calm times.

Adversity is the true test of the strength of our spiritual connection to God. It's easy to stay connected in times of ease and success. What challenges this connection are the difficult and trying times. "These are the times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine during the revolutionary war. When our souls are put to the test, how will we respond?

So, I'm going to do what feeds my soul (hiking) in all weather conditions (except dangerous conditions). For, there is beauty in every season of life, even in times of adversity.

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