What is spirituality? Great question. Webster defines it as the quality or state of being concerned with religious or religious matters. Another author said, 'Spirituality means any experience that is thought to bring the person into contact with the divine.' Wikipedia says it has been defined as a process of personal transformation in accordance with religious ideals. It also states that in the last few centuries, spirituality has become more oriented around subjective experience and psychological growth. The truth is, spirituality may refer to almost any kind of meaningful activity or blissful experience, but without a widely agreed upon definition.
Whatever the definition of spirituality, there is a clear need for it within every person. I have long been interested in what drives people to success, happiness, fulfillment, and failure.
One of the most joyous people I ever met was Phil, a 65-year-old lady on social security. She was the primary bread winner for two sons in their forties and three grandchildren, all living with her. While most of us would say this was a tough situation to be in at that age, it wasn’t for Phil. Every time I saw her in the bank she brightened my day. Her smile, her radiance, her joy in life was infectious. She was simply thankful. For everything. No matter how tough her situation, she simply said, 'God is so good to me.' Honestly, at the time, that didn’t make much sense to me.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have known many men and women who were driven by an insatiable need to succeed. They had money, property, toys, and a trail of failed relationships that got in the way of those cravings. In such cases, success and fame often bring vanity, notoriety, and sometimes suicidal actions.
What does a 'Phil' possess that brings such joy to life? What is missing that people lust for in material things but never find? Personally, I think all of us have a spiritual aspect to our nature. Unfortunately, most of us have a spiritual void in our lives. There is something missing when achievement is empty. When relationships can’t grow and deepen. There is a need at the very depths of our being that people try to meet with everything from fame to drugs to wealth to titles. I recently read a quote from a famous movie star who said, 'I look at all I have achieved and I keep thinking, is this all there is?'
I believe we were created this way. There is a void, a need, a desire that can only be filled with a relationship with the creator. Simply put, we were made by our creator to have a relationship with him. The search to fill this need is a road we will all travel. For those of us who have this relationship, life has meaning, we have purpose, and we have hope to deal with the struggles and issues we all face. I would say that’s my definition of spirituality: a relationship with my creator. My hope for you is that your journey leads to finding your spirituality and Phil’s joy of life.