Here I am going through my usual morning routine: 5:30 am wake, brush, shower, and pray while drinking a steamy cup of coffee (with cream). I am reading over my journal from when I prayed through the Examination of Balance Reverb Culture put out in their most recent book Four Pillar Spirituality. If you don’t read any further, click on that link and download the short e-book, it may just change the next 30-45 days of your life like it did mine...with an eternal impact.
The Examination of Balance has 15 questions and each question is answered in a range of 1 to 3. I anticipated that I would whip it out in five minutes and would end up feeling pretty good about myself and my “balanced life”. The Examination of Balance took me about five minutes to whisk through but the questions were different than I was expecting and my answers were not what I was hoping. I spent the next 30 minutes journaling about how surprised I was with my results and reflecting on how unforeseen the experience was. Below are my thoughts from my reflection on Pillar I, The Creed.
Before the Examination of Balance (EOB), the first thing to my mind if someone brought up “the Creed” was Mass on Sundays and Holy Days when we recite the Nicene Creed - simple, easy, done. What has never crossed my mind is the bombshell that the EOB asked me about:
- Salvation History
- Having a balanced relationship between all three members of the Trinity
- Leaning on Sacred Scripture when I have a difficult problem I am working on to overcome
Be honest and ask yourself right now: is that what you think of when you recite and reflect on the Creed? My answer was no, and that shook me up a bit.
For each question some thoughts rushed to mind, but I felt like I had to dig deeper into online articles, Sacred Scripture, and the Catechism to try and squeeze out all the spiritual juice God had for me.
“Salvation History is the story of how we are saved–our redemption in Jesus Christ. But it’s actually much more than that. It’s the vehicle to understand who you are in this world and what you’re meant to be.”
The thought of Salvation History has been making my head spin because it is such a grand idea that God has been planning to be in my life from the beginning of time!
Don’t gloss over the quote! Let’s read it one more time to ream its fullness:
I have been exposed to the clarity in the relevance of this in our culture generally and in my life particularly. I have the freedom to say yes or no, and I find myself saying no to Jesus far too often. The realization of my regular “no” to Jesus encourages me to reflect on Salvation History and try to comprehend that God has been seeking a relationship with me from the beginning of time. If I more fully understand who I am saying “yes” or “no” to, it will motivate me to make the right decision.
A balanced relationship between all three members of the Trinity helped me realize I have a stronger relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit than with God the Father. I think this stems from the fact that I have an amazing dad here on earth. It’s not that I consciously ignored my relationship with the Father, it’s that my “need” for the Father was overshadowed by my desire for a Savior in Jesus and the longing for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thinking and praying more about God the Father has helped me understand not only His protective and caring nature but also His firm and just “tough love” that shapes me into the man He wants me to be.
Rounding out the list of three on the Examination of Balance is “Leaning on Sacred Scripture when I have a difficult problem I am working on to overcome”. This thought is a bridge to something that has given me comfort throughout the years: God started the Church and He is Truth and Reason itself, so for everything that is unclear to me and every question I have, there is an answer.
I have felt that God loves when I ask questions because it allows me to discover Him on a deeper level, sometimes more personally and sometimes more intellectually. It makes me wonder if God plants questions on our hearts to encourage us to find the answer and unlock a piece of His identity we did not know before. My wife and I remind each other that we can only love what we know about each other and I feel that this may be true with God as well; the more I get to know Him, the more deeply and intensely I am able to love Him.
When I sat down to go over the Examination of Balance I did not expect to still be reflecting on it days later. Like most things, I suppose, each person that goes over this examination will glean different things based on who and where they are in life. I am excited that the Four Pillars has been made available to me and grateful for the impact it is having right now and in time to come.
If you haven’t downloaded Four Pillar Spirituality yet, I encourage you to try it now. Download it here and try the Examination of Balance to see where you God may be calling you to balance in your adult life.