Naturalist Spiritual Temperament

This is a follow-on to the post I put up on Gary Thomas’s book Sacred Pathways.

Ever since I became a believer, I’ve struggled to maintain a decent devotional life. It’s always in spurts: do well for a while, then taper off. Rinse and repeat. I’ve had a very solid relationship with God, but devotions have always been hit-or-miss.

Mr. Thomas’s book explained why: one of my spiritual temperaments is naturalist. I didn’t really understand the impact of that statement fully until we went camping this weekend. A storm woke me up at midnight (it was a whopper!) I didn’t really have anything to do. Rain was coming down in buckets, and thunder and lightning were almost constant. So, I decided to talk to God.

For nearly three hours we talked, but it seemed like minutes. That’s a major improvement for me. But, the best part is that I understand why now, as well: I relate to God better outdoors.

For years, I went deer hunting and never saw anything. Very frustrating on the hunting front. But, this weekend I remembered that I never got bored waiting for non-existent deer to come by. Why not? Because I was talking to God. I remember doing it, but it never clicked that the reason we could have multi-hour conversations was because I was outdoors. In nature. Close to His creation.

This is why I’m so high on Mr’s Thomas’s book. I was discipled with the best intentions and tools imaginable, and by a guy who was totally committed to helping me become the man of God I should be. But, devotional life never clicked, at least not for long. Always streaky, devotions were.

I don’t think that’s going to happen again. No more streaks, I hope. I’ll let you know. My intent is to spend a few hours a couple times a month outside, with no agenda. No grocery list, no Bible, not even a notebook. Just me and God. I think this is going to invigorate my life.

Now, that explains why the book has helped me. But, it does nothing for my readers (unless the Naturalist temperament fits you as well.)

Folks, there are nine temperaments. Some folks will gravitate towards spending time with God in an intellectual fashion. Some will be contemplative. Some will be on the front lines of spiritual warfare. Most people will find two or three that fit them. The key is that everybody will be helped. I see no downside.

The ideas in this book, I think, have freed me to be closer to God than I’ve ever been. I strongly suspect that those same ideas can help every Christian draw closer to the King.

I’ll keep posting on this. I had three other temperaments that scored high; I’ll be testing those out in the days and weeks ahead, and posting the results.

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