Personal Spiritual Trainers
“Personal Spiritual Trainers” excerpted from Nathan C. Walker (2014) Exorcising Preaching: Crafting Intellectually Honest Worship. St. Louis: Chalice Press.
When you come to me,
come not with the expectation
to have some passive clergyperson
coddle you into complacency.
No. Come to me as your PST––
your personal spiritual trainer.
I’m serious. I want to see you move.
I want to see you root yourself in a community
Built on moral complexity and
to hold one another to the
ethic of intellectual honesty.
I want to see you move beyond the
religious hang-ups of your broken past and
use your regenerative spirit to seize the day.
I want to see you flex your moral muscles.
I want to see you exercise spiritual practices to the point of
training your mind and body and spirit to collaborate
as a single, integrated, and dynamic entity.
I want to hear you articulate your beliefs.
I want to hear you articulate your faith
to the point of having some moral relevance.
I want to know that you are
engaged in the moral issues of our time.
I want to know what makes you afraid.
I want to know if you are cultivating
your doubts and your questions
so that when you do take a stand,
we can all trust your authenticity.
I want to know the intricacies of
how you are treating other people.
Have you learned new ways
to better your relationships?
If so, share them.
I want to know if you have learned to like yourself.
Have you learned to love yourself?
I want to know if you feel alive.
I want to know if you feel like you belong,
like you feel like you matter,
because to me, you do.
You do. Because you are my
personal spiritual trainers.