The thing is we all have our thing

I have a friend who is addicted to all things Mac.

Steve Jobs announced the arrival of the new Mac Air Book two days ago and yesterday my friend negotiated his Christmas present.  As a fellow Mac devotee, I am keenly aware of how strongly attractive this all is.  In fact, I’ve often thought it is more than a little scary that the company logo is an apple with a bite taken out of it.  Great shades of Adam and Eve.  But I take refuge in the knowledge that the Hebrew doesn’t actually say it was an apple.

In giving my friend a hard time about his record-time capitulation to the allure of the newest toy, he responded, “The thing is we all have our thing.”  Never were truer words spoken.

Jewish and Christian spirituality is hammered out in the real world.  From Genesis to Revelation the goodness of creation is asserted.  In Genesis with the pronouncement that God’s work was good — in John’s Apocalypse with the creation of a new earth.  It’s no surprise, then, that “we all have our thing.”

The key to spiritual balance lies in not allowing our things to have us.  Finding that balance is never easy to achieve.  That is why some have abandoned the effort to nurture their souls and others have run from the created world.

Both are soul-killing over-simplifications.

Live with freedom.  Experiment with the balance.

You will make mistakes.

But God loves you.  God made you a spiritual being.  God made the world.  God is present to you in both.

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About Frederick Schmidt

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009), and The Dave Test (Abingdon, 2013). He and his wife, Natalie (who is also an academic and an Episcopal priest), live in Highland Park, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and four grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, and Sophie.