I was asked recently about my spiritual growth. Ministers don't often get asked that question. In fact, very few get this question enough. The specific question I was asked was about my greatest challenges in the area of spiritual growth.
Since I cannot recall even a microsecond where I have recently spent time thinking about this, I was surprised at how quickly and easily the answer came to me. The greatest challenges to my spiritual growth are the voices of all the teachings, lessons, books, sermons, lectures, etc, I have heard, studied, absorbed and even created in the past that have shaped so much of my own spiritual growth to this point.
When I am confronted with a question or issue that requires thoughtful reflection and prayer, the easier thing to do is to fall back on what I have already heard and thought on the subject. All of those voices are so accessible to the point, at times, of being deafening. They are all I can hear.
I appreciate those voices and the place to which they have brought me. But I feel that more often than not these days, they are getting in the way of something deeper - something new - something even closer to the heart of God.
Ironically, I find myself, at least to some degree, trying to silence the voices to which I owe so much, so that I can more clearly hear the one to which I owe everything.