Religious or spiritual?

I was at a conference a few years back up on Lake Lanier on a gorgeous sunny Saturday. The meetings began in the afternoon, so I took time to enjoy a leisurely lunch in the restaurant overlooking the lake.  The lake was calm with a slight wind, and there were lots of folks out in boats that morning, some zipping around, others meandering in canoes and sailboats. The view from the restaurant would have made a great jigsaw puzzle or greeting card—truly beautiful, and I experienced great joy just watching it all.

The session I was scheduled to attend was entitled “Religion or Spirituality?”  The title was intriguing and I was eager to explore this concept. I didn’t, however, have high expectations that I would leave the session as profoundly impacted as I did.

The presenter nailed it at the very beginning of the hour by discussing the idyllic lake view.  As it turns out, she had also dined in the same restaurant and experienced the same enjoyment that I had. And she used this to define her subject matter. She was much more eloquent than I can ever be, but here is my summation:

Religion is like peering through the window, enjoying and appreciating the beautiful view. It’s awesome and wonderful…until you experience spirituality.

Spirituality is like being ON the lake, feeling the sun, wind, and spray from the waves. All of your senses are consumed with God, his Son, and the Holy Spirit. Truly walking and living with the creator of the universe.

I want to be spiritual. I want to be on the boat, in the lake. I don’t want to just watch anymore.

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