Sacred Pathways

Recently at The Meeting House we talked about “sacred pathways,” different ways that people connect with God. I looked up a test and decided to share my results here with some comments (scores out of 25). It was a pretty basic test but interesting nonetheless.

Activist: 23

Definitely more true recently, but the social justice drive has always been there for me. It used to manifest more in terms of the next, the Caregiver, but has shifted more to Activism. My main problem with the test I took, though, was that it was pretty much all about getting involved in politics. Clearly not an Anabaptist church that hosted that test, so I essentially just substituted other activist examples in the test to get a high score which is probably accurate. My own arbitrary rating: 22, second.

Caregiver: 22

This comes out for me much more when I’m in a leadership role, I think, so I haven’t seen it nearly as much in the past two years as I used to when leading groups in Kingston. I seem to have a bit of a block where I am far more hesitant or just generally unaware of what people need if I haven’t been explicitly designated for caregiving. My own arbitrary rating: 18, fourth.

Ascetics: 20

The one that I would probably rank as the highest as it is the one that has been most true consistently throughout my whole life. Being from the country I think I’ve always valued simplicity and it’s no surprise I landed in Anabaptism. I’m also an introvert, so solitude is where I get most of my energy anyway. My own arbitrary rating: 23, first.

Intellectual: 17

I remember the excitement and the connection to God I felt when I first started really digging into spiritual questions. It started in more apologetics terms, but as I realized just how many Christian understandings there are out there, I began to find genuine growth and enjoyment wrestling through different Christian understandings. Now, it is a nice rounding out of my faith but I wouldn’t see it as a primary means of encountering God. My own arbitrary rating: 20, third.

Traditionalist: 17

Yep, this is the thing I miss the most about The Meeting House by far. I’ve encountered a lot of bad liturgy which just floated by and I got nothing from it, but I’ve also encountered a lot of very good liturgy which helped connect me with God in a powerful ways. My own arbitrary rating: 16, sixth.

Naturalist: 14

Again, I’m from the country. Even in Kingston I definitely felt God walking by Lake Ontario or even some parts of Queen’s campus that showed off nature well. I miss it. No wonder I hated living in Toronto. My own arbitrary rating: 17, fifth.

Contemplative: 12

I would have put this lower since it is defined as “drawing near to God through personal adoration and heartfelt devotion.” I have a lot of trouble with that and rarely do I feel like I enjoy it. When I do the standard “quiet time” thing, it is much less this and much more the intellectual and the ascetic. My own arbitrary rating: 6, eighth.

Enthusiast: 9

Definitely experienced this more as a student when I had more charismatic friends. It would probably still be great when I do have the energy for it, but usually when I attend more lively worship now I am just exhausted a few minutes in. Stupid narcolepsy. My own arbitrary rating: 13, seventh.

Sensate: 9

Can’t really think of any point in my life where this was particularly helpful for me. I can occasionally feel moved by music or a movie that tells a powerful story, but really this isn’t a surprise to be at the bottom. My own arbitrary rating: 4, ninth.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.