- Published: March 26, 2017 March 26, 2017
The late Dr. Robert Mulholland stood ramrod straight. He soared above most of us at 6’5” and, to top it all off, he wore a wide brimmed hat. As Vice president and Provost of Asbury Seminary he kept two assistants busy, taught classes in Biblical Interpretation and the Book of Revelation, both in Greek! Once a year he preached at our bi-weekly Chapel service. We listened closely, for we knew of both his Biblical scholarship and his love for Christ and for us.
Dr. Mulholland offered students the opportunity to mentor under him. I received the privilege my last year and am forever grateful. We would meet once a week for an hour and I would talk my encounters with God prompted in Bible study, my classes, or my relationships empowered by the Holy Spirit. He made time for me, a gift as good as I’ve ever received. He helped me see the steps God used to transform me toward God’s image in each of us. Dr. Mulholland illuminated for me the grace of God.
Spiritual formation, the intentional use of what John Wesley called the “means of grace,” kept Mulholland on the road. He taught at The Spiritual Formation Academy, a two-year long process sponsored by The Upper room (publishers of the daily devotional), traveling to various locations for the events.
Last weekend, during the Women’s Walk to Emmaus, I stumbled upon a quote from his book, “Shaped By The Word,”
“Life is spiritual formation. Human life is, by its very nature, spiritual formation. The question is not whether to undertake spiritual formation. The question is what kind of spiritual formation are we already engaged in? Are we being increasingly conformed to the brokenness and disintegration of the world, or are we being increasingly conformed to the wholeness of the image of Christ?”
It would be foolish for us to think we could live healthy lives on Kool-Aid and Oreos, or by eating only once a week on Sundays. But we often neglect intentional action concerning our spiritual lives until the crisis hits.
How often do you nourish your spirit? Monthly, weekly, daily? Southern Living magazine? The Ocilla Star? Sunday church attendance? Television? Fox News or CNN? Consider adding daily prayer and bible reading or study to the list. How about a weekly gathering of Christian Friends or monthly meeting of United Methodist Women or Men?
We often think of ourselves in the order of body, mind, then spirit. What if it’s the other way around? Spirit, mind, then body? Perhaps Mathew’s quote means to change the natural order? “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33, NLT)
“Please pass the Bible” might go well with our eggs at breakfast!