Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rooted in the holy

pastel and paint on paper
Listen to this post:

Ever think about spiritual currency? I hadn't, not in those exact terms, until last Sunday when our Quaker minister gave a brief message on the subject, along with a reading of Jesus' parable of the talents.

My entire being flooded with relief when she outlined the concept. It freed me to see all of the positive in my life and myself instead of the deficits that gauging oneself by secular money can bring. It has enhanced and given a different dimension to my practice of gratitude. When I account for spiritual currency, I am a very rich and very blessed woman.

ahhhhh .... I just need a minute to let that soak in. What about you?

Can you re-imagine looking at life from this perspective, instead of the out-of-whack way we're taught in society? I am so tired of being judged and valued for what I do and how much I earn. Often, the first question one is asked when initially meeting another, after a name introduction. is: What do you do? I'd much prefer: What do you believe? What matters to you? What are the good things in your life? instead. 

I try, these days, to have those sorts of encounters. They arrive, I understand, not by my own hand, but, when grace is present and I am open. Open to knowing others deeply and showing myself in that manner. There's nothing more frustrating to me than to meet someone and desire to trudge deep, knowing they may not. Sometimes, I know I can take that risk. Other times, I realize it will be wasted or misunderstood energy. On the other hand, is showing someone you care to know more about them a mistake?

Sometimes you can feel the spiritual current (cy) no matter what. I had such a rich first-meeting conversation over the summer at a wedding. Instantly, we both recognized a kindred spirit. I have been surprised by the opening and depth of strangers and disappointed by the intellectualism within my larger faith community. Alphabet-soup credentials don't impress me. Warmth and speaking from the heart do.

Sitting high in bleachers at an athletic arena the other night, I was awed at being in the minority. Not afraid or intimidated. I wanted to connect with people, not just focus on the event and its stars. Spirits were high because people wanted to be here. Mostly, they were polite as we waited for hours in cold lines. But it was colorful, whimsical and, finally, I did connect with a woman seated behind me at the arena. I have no idea of her background, where she lives, what church she attends (if, indeed, she has any faith) or what she does for a living. We bonded over her laughter. It was inviting and infectious. In fact, we could hardly say goodbye when the lines were finally exiting. The last thing I cared to know about her was what she did or how much she earned. I could clearly see God had given her the gift of a terrific sense of humor that quickly spread to others.

Talk about rich in spiritual currency!

• What is my wealth in spiritual currency?
• How has that perspective changed my thinking?
• What have I exchanged with others?
• What have I given? Received?
• How am I a better person?

counting pennies,
keeping an eye
on the bills and
savings account

planning ahead,
putting some
purchases off

living in this
world drains
me, shifts me
into looking-at-

I am far richer,
taking stock
of blessings and
spiritual gifts

and root
one in
the holy


  1. Wow! You totally described what I have been struggling with and I love your solution - to focus on our spiritual currency. I gave up a professional possition about 12 years ago to have more time to care for my family and to pursue spiritual exploration and growth. I realize that I am privilaged to be able to do this, but I have been haunted by that first question you get from people related to society's demand that our worth and identity is determined by the money we make: "What do you do?". Answering "I am a spiritual explorer" makes many people think that I am joking with them and trying to put a positive spin on being out of a job or retired or too lazy to get a real job. I've even found myself feeling satisfied or relieved if people get the impression I am so well-off I don't have to work. That is terrible and so sad because spirituality is the most significant field on earth today and people should be asking "What have you discovered?" or "What do you believe?".
    Anyway, your thoughts about spiritual currency have given me another way to think about the value of what I am doing. Thank you!

  2. I am so glad you stumbled into this blog ... we share so much. Thanks for paying attention and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Glad something clicked for you as it did for me when my minster mentioned the concept. Blessings on your journey, Colin.