101 – Spiritual Formation – Intention on the Spiritual Journey

The other day I was going over definitions of “spiritual formation” (and spiritual practices/disciplines) that I have shared here and then Monday I came across a  blog post by Jayne Davis titled “String Theory.”


The first sentence got my attention,  “I often get asked, ‘What is spiritual formation?’”  And after that it gets very interesting.  Let me share a couple of sentences,

“Instead of responding with a definition or list of practices, I usually ask folks to think about their gut reactions to life’s circumstances and what shapes those reactions….  Gut reactions.  That’s what spiritual formation is all about — engaging in practices that train our gut reactions to be by faith and not fear; that shape how we instinctively see the world and solidify our trust in what we know to be true….At the slightest hint of trouble, our defenses can cause us to believe the worst motives in people we trust, underestimate people we love.  It can make the journey very lonely, and keep us from ever accomplishing the really good stuff together….This is my ‘String Theory.’  Most of us keep getting tied up by the same string in our lives.  Your string is different than mine, but we both know the frustration of getting tangled up … in the same way… again and again.  The question is, what are you doing to put your gut reactions in God’s hands… before they happen?”

I like this take on spiritual formation and practices.

This has got me paying attention to my gut reactions and the “strings” that tie me up.  What about you?  Can you see or name any of the “strings” that prevent you from putting yourself in God’s hands?


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