Reprinted from Richard Rohr,
Abraham Maslow points out in his “hierarchy of needs” that one cannot meet higher needs at any level of depth if the lesser needs are not first tended to. One cannot do an “end run” to levels of communion and compassion, for example, when one’s basic security and survival needs have not been met. As Jesus might put it, when you are “worried about many things” (Luke 10:41) you cannot have faith. When you cannot enjoy the lilies of the field or the sparrows in the sky, don’t waste time thinking you can enjoy God or respect people at any depth. So, start at the bottom if you can, and try to love a rock! If you can do that, it only gets bigger, wider, higher, deeper, and better.
History has revealed too many people who have tried to be spiritual before they have learned how to be human! It is a major problem. Maybe this is why Jesus came to model humanity for us—much more than divinity. Once we get the simplest human parts down (stop slamming doors and start loving rocks), God will most assuredly take it all from there. Get the ordinary human thing down, and you will have all the spirituality that you can handle.
Adapted from Contemplation in Action, pp. 83-84
Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation