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Spiritual Belonging

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free, ’tis the gift to come down where I ought to be; and when we find ourselves in the place just right, twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gained, to bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed; to turn, turn, will be my delight. Till by turning, turning we come round right.”

— Joseph Brackett

Bridgewater, Va. – When I think about spiritual belonging, I think about finding myself “in the place just right,” as the old Shaker hymn puts it. And by “the place just right,” I mean the sense that my life and beliefs are integrated; that the way I’m living lines up with what I profess to value and believe in.  

If I claim to believe in the sacredness of life but treat those different than me with judgment and contempt, I am not “in the place just right;” I do not spiritually belong.  

If I claim to value the environment but drive when I could easily walk or ride my bike, I am not “in the place just right;” I do not spiritually belong.  

If I claim to believe in the simple life but pack my schedule with activities and my home with stuff, I am not “in the place just right;” I do not spiritually belong.  

And if I claim to value humility but am too proud to admit when I am wrong or change a position when confronted with the facts, I am “not in the place just right;” I do not spiritually belong.  

Spiritual belonging is to have the courage of my convictions and to live an undivided life. It is to be my authentic self and to live my truest life regardless of where I am or who I am with. In a word, it is to have integrity. For when I have that, I will “come down where I ought to be;” I will find myself “in the place just right;” and I will spiritually belong wherever I happen to be.  

Robbie Miller, College Chaplain

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