at·ro·phy /ˈætrəfi/ uh-troh-fee-uh
- a wasting away of the body or of an organ or part, as from defective
nutrition or nerve damage
- degeneration, decline, or decrease, as from disuse
- to affect with or undergo atrophy -- wither, deteriorate, or waste away www.dictionary.reference.com
Think about it this way-- the natural consequence of doing nothing is atrophy. What do I mean by this?
I like to think of myself as a runner. But I must admit my thoughts and actions don't always coincide. Most weeks I jog 3 or so times for a few miles. I am not consistent. I have not followed a routine or found a rhythm I can sustain. The result of this unintentional approach is heavy breathing, tired muscles, slower pace, and overall lack of desire. Here's what I experience: when I lack attentiveness, my body pays the price.
I think atrophy affects my spiritual being similarly to my physical condition. When I choose to not be intentional and attentive, my soul pays the price. Not because God has lost interest or lacked in intentionality and attentiveness, but rather I become disconnected from the source of living.
In the New Testament's book of Acts, Paul, one of the early followers of Christ, talks about the relationship between humans and God.
He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man-made temples, and human hands can't serve his needs – for he has no needs.Just like my physical health, my spiritual well-being requires intentionality and attentiveness. I love the image of feeling my way towards God and finding him.. I love that he is not far.
He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need there is. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.
Acts 17:24-28 New Living Translation
As we begin exploring and experiencing spiritual practices together, may we find God and know that he is not far.
Thinking about your world and life, what evidence do you see or what experiences have you had that prove atrophy is alive and well?