Wander

A couple of days again the insight that, most of all, I needed to get back to writing hit me. This fleeting thought turned then to how to write in the midst of so much other work. I realized that I couldn’t really consider the the other work, especially when everything feels draining. But, at the same time, when my other work is also demanding my creative participation, to let all the steam out of myself would be detrimental.

So, I thought, a 1000 words a day is probably to much, it pushes me to the edge of my daily focus. How about 500? That’s the new goal. Five hundred words a day might be a very approachable goal. Of course, me being me, it’ll spill over into being more on most days, but 500 is the goal I want to keep as a minimum.

The question then becomes what I should write about. Last evening, while my mind was wandering during a sermon, I got to thinking about the story of Jesus I was writing. Fictionalized account of the Gospels from the eyes of a secondary character. Indeed, I thought I might try for more than this, looking for the story to progress into Acts and then… who knows!

But now, I think I’m seeing how much work that is to pull off. There’s a lot of research on the topics that I just don’t think I’m ready for. So then what? Wander afield in a random bit of fiction every day? A five hundred word masterpiece that would no doubt revolutionize the world while providing an easy outlet for creative exploration. Well, therein lies my problems.

I think too much and then think too much about how what I do will hopefully have some kind of meaning beyond just doing it. That’s a dangerous way of thinking because of course it won’t. If anything I do ever does, then that’s a grace from God. That’s the way I have to think, because that’s reality, not letting my imaginative creativity drift into the arena of my actual experiences. I need to sketch again, sketching in words, though I’m cautious about doing so in public because of the pressures to succeed. But that’s stifling.

I’ve never succeeded, in whatever ways I have succeeded, by being cautious and trying to do the correct approach. At the same time, I have this constantly burdening memories of saying too much and getting myself deeper and deeper into a hole.

So, I must do without thought of what I am doing will make a difference or if what I am doing matters or is constructive. That’s not really the goal is it? Not with this. The this is the doing without the goal, the acting without the intent, the sketching without the product in mind. For the sake of my own focus, not for the sake of my own progression.

I need to find a way of unknotting the threads in my mind and in doing that becoming free to be the sort of writer and thinker who is better about expressing my impressions when the time is ripe for my impressions to have some kind of meaning. I need to write because I need to write, I need to find the freedom of expression again that has become lost in the restrictions of overly intentional projects.

I say I love to write, that I want to be a writer, but when I consider how much I really write? Ah, there’s a problem there. I don’t write enough to think of myself as a writer. So, the only answer to that is to write, to write, to write, to hone the craft through constant application.

In effect, I need to re-discover my voice, because my voice is what is my key to progress, but more than this, my voice is what is key to myself, to finding the words that tap into the inner maelstrom, that bring relief to the crowds, that break apart the now dense flotsam that has collected against the dam of my consciousness. I restrain and I clutter and I then get caught up in a mental approach that finds increased depression and distraction. I have to wander a different way.

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A Returning

When I first began to write more seriously, about 8 years ago or so, I did so because I found the more I wrote the more clear my head was. It was a release of pressure, relieving the steam that built up inside as I struggled with the chaos existing around and in the rest of my life. The more I pressed on in writing, the more clear I felt, the more I was able to focus, the more I was able to find hope and peace. The curious aspect of this is that the most effective kind of writing wasn’t the internal analysis that sought to unknot the many and many threads that had somehow become entirely unmanageable. The best sort of writing came when I left the introspective reservation and wrote on other topics.

At first I thought it would be most helpful to engage the world, to write on politics or culture, to share the wealth of my gathered supposed wisdom in applying it to the events of the day. But, that tapped my soul too. I found as I engaged the chaos, the chaos reverberated back into me, scattering my already fractious thoughts, emphasizing the conflicts and disagreements, thrusting me into the midst of added controversies, and ones in which I had utterly no role to play except expressing an opinion.

I like to express my opinions, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a strained passivity about doing so when your opinions don’t have any power to make any difference whatsoever. It’s passive without power, but it’s strained because it gives off the illusion of having some sort of authority. Sort of like being the Vice President of the United States, I guess.

I found that the biggest help always came when I attempted to write fiction. I think that when I sought to engage my tensions directly, I always came at them with the same interpretive keys, gauging what I couldn’t understand with my own understanding. This is useful, I think, if you’re still sorting out some new or especially potent issue, but after a while, when the issues being dealt with are stale and crusty, it’s just going around in circles. Which is why journals never really have been useful for me.

When I wrote fiction I realized that I was still approaching my issues, but indirectly, through a creativity which quietly and deftly picked over my subconscious, suggesting themes which did not seem at first to be my themes, but which certainly did, in a way, turn out to be pointing towards what I was wrestling with.

The fiction I wrote became a sort of counterfactual of my own life. Never intentionally so, never with purpose. That would have brought it back into the introspective spiral. Just being free to write a story, freed me from myself, but gave insight into myself that steered some very key decisions I made in life during the middle years of the first decade of millennium.

I think about this now because I’m all knotted up again. Unlike in 2003, however, I’m not dealing with isolation, rejection, frustration, and aimless wandering. Life is good. I certainly would like to make more money, but that’s just what it is, not a major barrier. I still feel knotted. I lack the sort of creative enveloping that takes me out of myself, into a mode of exocentric focus, where I can, as I like to say, dance.

I can’t dance in real life, so that’s only a figurative expression. Nor can I sing. I can’t paint or draw. I can play music, but I get caught up in the constant realization that in a cramped apartment complex every noise I make has to be heard by everyone around, so I feel stifled in doing that. What can I do? I can write. And I realized again yesterday that I need to write.

I need to write more than just for school, which carries with it both a mix of creative exploration but also tension filled demands of trying to please the right people, trying to stand out and in doing that maybe someday get a substantive paycheck. Writing for school exacerbates the tensions which already gather together in regular storms on my soul. I need to write, freeing myself to explore again for the sake of exploration. I need to write not as a task for my vocation but as a creative task that hones the craft.

This is the latter bit that occurred to me as I was writing this. Writing well is a craft. It’s one that I’m better at than I was ten years ago, but one which I have not even approached becoming an expert. And the only way to master a craft is to do it, do it constantly, and do it with discipline.

I haven’t had discipline in writing for writing’s sake in a very long time.

I miss it. I need to get that discipline because I think that when life takes on even more busyness and steals more of my attention in widely different directions, I need to have built up a pattern of focus that keeps me moving forward in my career. More than this, however, I need to write because writing frees my soul, helps my mind to think again, helps me to encounter the day with a feeling of peace rather than frenzy.

So, even if I don’t have a task to turn in quite yet, I need to get to writing with discipline. And maybe even get back to writing fiction. We’ll see. What we won’t see is this sort of writing about writing about writing. I get weary of this sort of writing pretty quickly. But for today, it’s what I needed to write.

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poking my head back in

This used to be, for a while at least, the place I tried to better enunciate my inner life. For a while the words dried up and I was left with pictures. Not very good pictures, but sometimes interesting nevertheless.

As is often the case with my writing, I find myself returning to pondering whenever I hit a rut. I’ve not been in a rut in a while, I suppose.

But now I’m back here and that says something quite clear.

I’m in a rut.

Which is kind of a odd way of putting it, really. A rut is a groove in a road made by people going somewhere. More specifically by wagons, with so many over a long period of time making it so the scar in the earth deepens. I saw the picture the other day of how there was still places along the old Oregon trail where the ruts were so thorough that nothing would grow.

But that’s a sidenote, to whatever this main note might be.

I’m in a rut.

In the post below written a couple months after being married I noted the stress of school, that it wasn’t a heavy class load as much as it was a heavy reading load in combination with the pressure of doing well enough to keep up a scholarship. That school year ended and my fellowship was indeed renewed. A 4.0 gpa and a nice amount of other work certainly helps. This past year, my 2nd year, also ended with a continued 4.0 gpa and other apparent successes. But there was no fellowship. Fuller, they tell us, ran out of money.

But, there’s money to be had where they want money to be had, so for me and others, we found ourselves having done enough and well beyond enough, but not finding any associated validation of the effort. Financial validation at least.

I received a one quarter fellowship, which will pay for my upcoming Fall quarter. But after that? It’s all a mystery. Friends of mine in the same situation did not even get that much, even as they did as much or more, so I certainly don’t feel singled out. But, they also had mentors and others who opened up doors. They’re teaching in the Fall.

So, for me, I did all I had to do and beyond. I spoke at conferences, I got an article published in a decent journal, I have a new book coming out at some point before the end of the year. I wrote a 60 page essay for my class this past quarter, and I figure that because I’ve written a lot with my dissertation topic in mind in other courses, I have about 80 pages of my dissertation written. I’m speaking at a Church History conference in early October and I was invited to contribute an article to a book on Spirits in the World edited by Amos Yong, Kirsteen Kim, and Veli-Matti Karkkainen. I’m contributing to a major online Worship project being developed by Augsberg Fortress Press.

Only because of the rather disheartening non-renewal of my fellowship, and the decided lack of other more palpable areas of participation I am struggling with feeling extremely deflated.

And, being that I live in the city now, my usual tactics for renewal are much more difficult to come by.

I’m attending a church, though “involved in” would be a strong stretch of words, since I really still do not have any idea how to get involved. My attempts at more personal connections seem to fall flat. Everyone is nice, and everyone is very busy. So, I yet again struggle in my spiritual and emotional questions without any mentor. This is the common trend in my life, to be sure. I’ve never had a mentor, other than the writings of great spiritual leaders from centuries past.

But they don’t exactly help open up doors or point out what it means to be a budding theologian in a 21st century post-modern world.

This is the place of my struggle now. There are many people around, but I struggle with being quite bifurcated. My deepest self involves a decided mysticism, a spiritual awareness and pull, that for the sake of participation I seem to need to keep almost always buried and hidden. I make jokes and I offer long sentences of increasingly complex analysis.

But I do not feel rooted with God or his people. And I have no idea how to find a renewed sense of spiritual liveliness, one that does not encompass wandering off into isolation–which has been my path in the past.

Theology, in the West at least, is not a mystical enterprise. It’s mostly about tasks and statements and busyness.

Life with Amy is really nice. I love her and I enjoy her friendship every single day. I am not in the safe situation I was just a few years ago.

I’m in this different place, but being here I find my spiritual self not shriveled as much as shadowed and disguised. I’m much better about looking like I am participating in a world in which I feel a permanent outsider.

An image came to me the other day. When I was younger, working at NewSong, I was spiritually and emotionally volatile. I celebrated and I raged. I leaped into the rushing waters of church life as long as I could, and beaten against rocks I still tried to swim. I discovered new heights of creative contributions and new lows of frustrating negation.

Then it all disappeared. Like Moses after hitting the Egyptian, I fled the life I knew and wandered into the wilderness. I found healing there, profound deep healing, and even wrote a couple of books.

But I haven’t found my way back. I don’t even know if there is a back.

Which leaves me wandering about with this rising spiritual consternation within me, a sadness that wells up when I find a quiet moment, with tears never quite fully forming, but a burgeoning weeping touching the back of my eyes and suggesting a deeply stirred soul that can’t quite find the words or the touch to help find my way out of the caves.

This mystical reality that is my true home–much more than the physical world that I seem to occupy–roused me and stirred me over the course of my life — thrusting me into questions that were too big and answers that were just enough to spur me to see how much more there was to this whole reality. Which then pushed more and more questions.

Which is why I began to study church history and which was why I started seminary. Because I had questions that no one around me could answer, and yet I knew — for the deepest parts of my soul told me — that there were indeed answers to be found.

But now?

I’m in a rut.

Again. Which is the basis of this post. This isn’t the blog where I try to say something interesting or witty or point out the goings on of some trip into nature. This is my soul blog, where I try to sort out what it is that is going on.

Because I have hope.

But I don’t, right now, have any answers to what is plaguing my soul — this deeply disheartened feeling of being untethered to any real community and all my efforts being but chasing after the wind.

So I write a bit, because I want to find a return. A return if not to an explicable lifestyle, then at least to a contented purpose and holistic peace that there is promise awaiting.

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I hear music playing…

I haven’t written here in a while. And I haven’t written here regularly for a much longer while.

No real excuses.

I got to the point where documenting my inner state wasn’t opening new insights. I was going in circles as the state of my life remained in the same limbo. I had the freedom of time and a forest of sorts outside.

But never my own real space to let my thoughts wander and explore.

There was always busyness about the house as I lived with my parents during a time of their need and my need intersecting.

There was, all too often, construction of busy neighbors who came to the mountains, it seems, less for the ambience and more for the tinkering, image, or some other hidden trait, forcing their near constant noise outward.

I tried to be a monastic. But a monk, it seems, needs a monastery of either quiet or action. I was in limbo.

Limbo taught a lot. Not a lot about what I thought I needed to learn. Not a lot about theophanies or perichoresis or intimate encounters of prayer. I lost so much of my earnestness, my pursuit of finding prayer spaces, my seeking after seclusion.

But, I learned how to be irritated. Not that this itself needs a lesson. It’s the response to that, responding to other people’s noises and disturbances and inadvertant life that always seems to get in the way of my rhythms.

Everyone is playing a song, and it’s almost always a different song than the one I am playing or trying to listen to. The one I’m trying to listen to is God’s music. That’s the music to dance with. If we can find others who are also listening rather than playing than a real great time can be had.

But that’s rare. And that’s a gift. A great intersection of God’s people in a season of openness.

I’ve not had that for a long, long while. I don’t know how to find that and I’m honestly exhausted trying to find it, force it.

Limbo taught me how to be, however, when things aren’t as I would manage them and how to be when everything that is almost satisfying never quite gets there. A stream of constant frustrations about seeing what I would need and not being able to embrace it, knowing that it would have been an easy fix for God to arrange and manage the circumstances to allow for the communion I sought with him.

He never did. And that led to some bitterness, irritations, loss of caring, loss of the earnest attempts to find the windows in which I could commune with eternity and step out of the limited life that I led, if even for a small moment.

I lost the spiritual drive. I didn’t feel like God cared about reciprocating. I was trying to manage the relationship, through trying to manage what was indeed a strong desire for quiet time, reflection, and all those good things that people say are mandatory for our spiritual developments.

I learned to dance, I suppose. But not too well, and not without too easily giving in to the other tunes that danced in so many directions. I was flappable. Quite flabbable. And that was used against me.

The environment is different now.

I have my own apartment for the first time in 5+ years. I’m married now. I live in Pasadena rather than in the mountains.

I have a heavy school load, not classes but a lot of reading and pressure that comes from trying to do well enough to maintain a yearly renewed scholarship.

The dance hall I used to be in is now different.

But God’s song is the same. And as limbo transitions now into a semblance of a real person’s life, I cannot let go either the drive or the goals that the spiritual call has placed upon me. Now that life has changed I see again the victories and failures of my past season, seeing how I’ve grown and how I’ve remained so strikingly immature in faith and prayer and devotion. I have so much more hope and faith and stability and stillness now. But there remains much more to grow in these as I stretch towards a wholeness that I’ve tasted but am still so far from embracing as my own.

The last few days I’ve been poked by my spiritual life. Now that all the frantic busyness of wedding and moving and new studies have settled down into what seems to be the new reality I’m faced with my self, my God, my God with me and myself with others.

A new reality begins in which I feel drawn to discover the spirituality of this life as it happens, honing my strengths and maybe finding a way past the weaknesses so that I might become a better participant in God’s work and with him in the way that he asks.

Maybe this might even mean a return to regular musings on this page.

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values

January 9, 2008

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lessons

I’ve come to realize one of the hardest lessons for the spiritual life isn’t about the internal state nor is it even directly related to our perception of God. The hardest lesson of the spiritual life has to do with that oft source of frustration — other people. It’s hard because we’re always around people, and it’s hard because this is the area of life in which life with the Spirit goes so much against our natural inclinations that it requires a constant and steady work of the Spirit in order to keep us in line with Christ.

What are our natural inclinations? We want to control people. We want to judge people. We want to rate people. We want something from people. We have expectations of people. We have demands. We have desires. We want people to make sense. We want them to agree with us. We think God should be doing the same thing in other people that he is doing in us. We want respect. In short, there’s a quality in which we want to be a little god to other people, God’s own representative so that we can manage people to be the way they should be. Even if there’s only a few Mugabes and Pol Pots in history, we’ve all a bit of the tyrant in us. Which is expressed in anger, or depression, or a maybe, if we’re really trying hard, just a mild form of irritation. We get out of sorts.

And yet, Paul wrote in Philippians 2:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!

We are not called to be little gods, but rather to follow the lead of Christ in letting go our insistence on our supposed dues and becoming a servant.

Servant is an overused word in Christian culture. Everyone wants to be a leader, everyone wants to be a servant. We all want to be the kind of servants who get to tell other people how and when we will serve them, lording over them with our service. But, Jesus, though Lord, didn’t lord over anyone. He didn’t assert his authority but did something else.

He remained open to people. And that is one of the most profound spiritual acts a person can do. Why? Because people hurt, insult, fight, ignore, crush, use, abuse, dismiss. People have mixed motives. They fail. They have different goals and different hopes and different expectations. They might not share our feelings, or our yearnings, or our dreams. People can be fickle. They can be flighty. They can be ignorant. Indeed, God might even just be talking to those other people as much as he is talking to us, and what he is saying to them isn’t the same.

In the face of this, where other people for whatever reason don’t match up us, it is extremely natural to let the ego have its way. The ego is that part of us that defends our supposed identity. It provokes anger and frustration when people don’t match what we want them to match. It stirs up jealousy and fear and provokes us to go on the attack, rejecting or denying another before they get the chance to do anything to us.

And so in the face of natural inclination we have to be thoroughly unnatural. We have to risk being hurt. We have to enter into interactions in which there is a possibility for heartache. We have to set aside our ego’s attempt to defend our innermost self, and let our innermost self face the brunt force of other people’s egos. We have to trust. We have to help. We have to give. We have to love. Even when this might not return to us. Even when our being open might deliver to us sadness, or hurt, or emptiness.

That is Jesus on the cross. That is our call, to carry the cross, not the cross of our own sinfulness or our own faults, we have to carry the cross that others build. In remaining open, even and especially in the face of potential hurt, we become conduits of the Spirit to move within a situation, taking hold of faith’s promises rather than our ego’s fears.

This is, frankly, humanly impossible. Which is why I think of this as being one of the more advanced spiritual lessons. Learn this and there is nothing anyone can do to removed us from God’s presence, nor are we battered by the fierce storms of others. This is the love of the martyr for their persecutor and the love of Jesus for all of us. It is the openness of love, that transcends our ego and places us within the community of the Spirit who seeks the wholeness of all people.

That sounds nice theologically. Practically? It means getting the heart crushed and broken but still not crawling into a shell. It means understanding when someone else is hearing from God and that means a limitation or a separation or a silence, while still praying for their best and knowing that they are walking with God. It means listening to those in pain, and offering assistance to those who hurt when there’s not a bit of chance they offer anything in return. It means being a friend and risking unshared feelings, doing the part God asks. It means letting go of the often right perceptions of slights and insults and dismissals, washing the past from all regrets and ill will. It means acknowledging all the hurts that have been caused, understanding these as being real and true, but not letting any of this guide future actions. Bless those who curse. Honor those who insult. Make peace with those who yearn for war. Turn the other cheek.

This isn’t an exhortation for national policy, this is how I am supposed to live as a disciple of Jesus. I have to remain open to people, even and especially after being hurt, knowing I probably will be hurt, and while being hurt. I have to let even that go for the sake of Christ, always seeing others as Jesus sees them, and hopes for them, and yearns for them. The Jesus who welcomed the denying Peter back into the fold is the model for my own personal interactions.

And God has been teaching me this lesson, certainly through my life, more explicitly over the last year.

But sometimes it’s too hard. Sometimes I close off. In the absence of palpable sources of renewal sometimes I lose heart, and hope, and so struggle to maintain my openness. Sometimes it’s too hard. That’s not a sign of someone else. That’s a reminder of my own immaturity.

Tonight I see the ways in which I have remained open in the face of potential hurt. And I see the ways I have remained open in the face of recent hurts, knowing friendships served purposes even as they took part of my soul with them. And I see the ways in which I couldn’t sustain it and lost my perspective, lost my openness and likely contributed to hurt, and the hardening of other egos.

I pray that I do more of the former and less of the latter, taking on hurt so as to help be a beacon of peace and openness to others.

I think at that point I will truly see Jesus, for I will have finally grasped his attitude.

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morning

Early in the morning light a chipmunk decided to walk down the stares, pausing every few steps, watching, listening. A jay visited, for only a brief moment. I was up early again, the first time in a long while, before the sun even hinted at a rise, the calm of the predawn hours a balm to my active soul.

I woke up wanting to read, wanting to read ancient texts. So I did, for a while, slowly sloughing off the dross of the last couple of weeks, my mind feeling like returning to more fruitful fields.

There is a peculiar sense in my soul I have passed yet another marker, a stage in which some of the old is left behind. I stumble around still, but find myself more ready to plunge forward, less interested in that which distracts and more in what fills. This is peculiar because the outward aspects of my life don’t necessarily reveal this inner sense. Many, manifold, are those who more readily show a life pointed towards the eternal. Yet within… that is the measure God takes of us, his concern is not for our actions, desiring we rather spend all our lives within a single room, unproductive, then go out and do wonderful works at the cost of our soul.

We mark this life by what we do, who we know, how much influence we can assert over others, over ourselves. God only cares about our heart and how it increasingly reflects his presence. That is a key aspect of shifting our perception to the eternal. What we do becomes a distant second to who we are, knowing that only if we are of God will what we do be of God. Wesley paraphrased, “First God works, then we can work. First God works, then we must work.” God works within, transforming us entirely, to the point where we don’t have to convince ourselves of doing what is right, we don’t have to wrestle with the ethical questions or try and arouse a passion within, instead as Paul said, we can’t not do what is of the Spirit. The goal isn’t the activity, it is the becoming of people who instinctively act in accord with the fluid Spirit, letting our lives and prayers join in a dance together, our worship arising from our being in resonance with the Three-In-One.

For now, though, the dance is awkward, the steps are confusing, the rhythm difficult to master.

This morning it seems, however, like I’ve stepped to a new stage, one I can’t define any better than I could define the previous. I only hope it’s not a remedial class. I’m eager to learn new lessons, though I’m not confident I have yet mastered the old.

Either all of this, or some measure of regained focus feels like I have waded through a rushing stream and am dripping clean.

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hot

It’s now 85 degrees in the house. I realized a few years back that it’s at 85 degrees that my brain stops working. It’s not that I’m bothered, or frustrated, or otherwise put off by the heat. It’s just that as I try to do something I realize the brain isn’t working, and consistently that happens at 85 degress.

Of course then I get bothered, frustrated and otherwise put off by the heat.

So, there it is.

Spirituality and weather do in fact go together.

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nearing Summer

I’m fairly certain I’ve lost some friends this past couple of months. Now, in the past I’ve had that happened and I’ve lamented the decisions I’ve made. Well, not much lamented the decisions as lamented the fact that I really thought that God was leading me towards making those decisions and lamented the fact that some people aren’t good about dealing with people they find inexplicable. They didn’t agree or understand, and drifted off.

Now, though, I realize I made decisions and if I’ve lost friends over it it’s entirely my own fault. As I wonder about this I wonder both about what to do and I wonder about the inner workings of my own soul that led to this unfortunate state. Now that I’m starting to feel more open again I’m feeling it a lot more heavy. Which is basically the one negative aspect to my decidedly more cheery state of late.

It is often thought that the spiritual quest is one of finding out our callings, or our goals, or our focus, or otherwise those enriching points of interaction between God and our lives, so that we can set aside the frustrations of mundane life and move onwards to the higher planes of fruitful existence.

Only, from what I can tell, while that’s a part that’s not nearly the whole of spiritual progression, especially at its more mature phases.

Finding a calling or purpose or focus is all well and good. Gives a bit of hope and purpose to what might otherwise be long seasons of slogging.

But, the more mature phases, from what I can tell, involve already knowing the calling then sloughing off those inner realities that hamper and restrain. Which means we go from rejoicing in being saved by Grace so that we can learn who we really are, to being propelled by grace to overcome those issues and tendencies which are not part of who we really are. God teaches and we reach, straining because of the grace and light of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, but straining still because, you know, those parts that aren’t who we are really seem like they are ever so precious to who we thought we were.

It gets complicated. But, it’s the way of wholeness, stillness, and peace.

More later.

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Back to it

For a while I had a blog called Morning and Evening. This was more about my personal inner life, a place where for a little while at least I posted in the morning and in the evening, journaling my thoughts on the spiritual life. That regularity fell off a good time ago. Still, I kept going sporadically, moving to doing more of a pictorial interpretation last year. Pictures, I thought, were an interesting way of looking in when my mind seemed unable to wrap around the right words.

Well, I moved webhosts earlier this year. Part of the reason for that was the servers at my last host were a mess. Constant problems. My databases were affected again and again, so I moved to a new host, siteground. Love it in the new habitat. However, even though I somehow managed to get all the information moved over, something happened with my morning and evening blog. I couldn’t log into it. All the admin stuff was totally lost. I could keep it up but I couldn’t add to it. When it started to get spammed a lot I couldn’t do anything so I took down the blog.

Now, however, I’m getting a bit of a drive to get back to this online journaling. I’m also thinking I need a place to gather assorted writings and thoughts on the spiritual life that make it to various other forums or sites. So, Learning to Dance is born. No commitment other than to be a renewed spot of my thoughts.

And, I’ve saved the posts of Morning and Evening, adding them to this page. Now it’s a lot more complete, updated, and more fitting to my purposes.

What got me thinking about doing this again? It was the fact that the online journaling I did over at Barclay Press was so helpful.

I’m going to also get my old morning and evening posts up, from the first full year I did them, which weren’t in a blog format, but just updated separate pages. Those were the beginning of the dance for me, in a way.

If you want to skip to my earlier writings, that went up to about September 2005. Wow, it has been a while since I mused properly.

Enjoy.

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