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After many years of being
out of shape, he decided it was time to do something about the state of his
body. With great excitement and enthusiasm, he went to the local gym, got a
membership, and began a circuit-training routine. He felt good. And he kept at
it, going to the gym several times a week.
For the first couple of
months. And then a business trip intervened. And then he had to work late. And
then it was one of his kids’ birthday. And soon he was hardly going at all. Then
he could barely remember the last time he’d gone.
So he went back to the gym
and asked the trainer for a suggestion. “Have you tried finding a workout
buddy?” she asked. He hadn’t. But the idea made sense, so he talked to a couple
of his friends who went to the same gym and found one who agreed to “buddy up.”
The two went to the gym
together sometimes, but often they continued working out alone. But they checked
in with each other. They talked about the difficulties they were having staying
motivated; they celebrated each others’ achievements. They gave each other ideas
to “spice things up.” They commiserated over aches and pains. And soon he could
hardly imagine not working out. His
“buddy” helped keep him moving.
After a few years of being
back in shape, he decided it was time to do something about the state of his
spirit. With great excitement and enthusiasm, he went to his local Unitarian
Universalist congregation, became a member, and began taking part in small group
ministries and adult education opportunities. And he felt
For the first couple of
years. But then the freedom and diversity of the congregation weren’t new to him
anymore, and the Principles and Sources that had once excited him were now taken
for granted. He felt he’d reached a bit of a plateau on his spiritual path and
that he needed some new energy and direction. So he went to the minister and
presented his dilemma to her. In the conversation, he happened to mention that
he worked out regularly and had a workout buddy.
“Workout buddy,” the
minister said. “What a nice idea. Have you ever thought of finding a ‘spiritual
buddy’—one who can be a companion and support to you in your spiritual
practices? Someone who can challenge you, support you, and help you stay focused
like your workout buddy does?”
“A spiritual buddy!” he
said. “Just what I need!” That night he called up his friend, the fellow who had
introduced him to Unitarian Universalism. And they became spiritual buddies.
They met for coffee a couple times per month to discuss their spiritual
practices and their theological ideas. Sometimes they meditated together. Once,
on the solstice, they hiked up a hill to see the sun rise. Another time they
both read the same book about evolution and spirituality. Their friendship grew
deeper, and their spiritual lives flourished. He participated in his Unitarian
Universalist congregation with renewed excitement, knowing he was on a rich
spiritual path and delighting in the company of fellow
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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