Philip Yancey, in one of his regular columns in Christianity Today, talked about his 50-year spiritual checkup in this way:
"When I turned 50 this year, I underwent a complete physical checkup. Doctors poked, prodded, x-rayed, and even cut open parts of my body to assess and repair the damage I had done in half a century. As the new millennium rolled around, I scheduled a spiritual checkup as well. I went on a silent retreat led by a wise spiritual director."
In those days of silence and reflection, several issues arose that Yancey wanted to change in order to keep his soul in shape. Here is a sampling of the steps he felt led to take:
* Come to God with your own troubles, as well as the world's. * Question your doubts as much as your faith. * Do not attempt this journey alone. Find companions who see you as a pilgrim, even a straggler, and not as a guide. * Allow the good—natural beauty, your health, encouraging words—to penetrate as deeply as the bad. * For your own sake, simplify. Eliminate whatever distracts you from God. * Find something that allows you to feel God's pleasure. * Always "err," as God does, on the side of freedom, mercy, and compassion. * Don't be ashamed of the gospel. * Remember, those Christians who peeve you so much—God chose them too. * Forgive, daily, those who caused the wounds that keep you from wholeness.