Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: April 23, 2004


I’m not going to write my usual bit tonight. I’m groggy, and tired, and just wrote what I feel were more important words, though in a more private context.

I felt, not surprisingly, the slow return of focus today, and renewed zeal. The Spirit works, and the kayaking aids. God is at work, of that I’m sure, only he is a complicated sort who doesn’t like to explain himself. Part of the fun I guess. So, a person just has to go along for the ride.

I won’t delve into it now, but I do want to add that I was reminded today more clearly of something which I always assume, only it drifts in and out of my awareness at different times. Theology is important, to be sure. But there is no law which is higher than Loving God and Loving our neighbor. Too much theology has interfered in these basic precepts. Always there is flexibility when it comes to dealing with others, with particular people. I knew this, so nothing changes, only it’s nice to write it out sometimes as a reminder.

I’m struck right now by feelings of elation and giddiness, relating oddly to what I wrote in the other context, oddly because it was not a joyful situation. But, the giddiness is not about the happy aspects, it’s about the Rightness of it all, the feeling that Oh yes, God is in control.


Overcast skies dissipate as the sun rises. morning light shines through the mist. Heavy breeze blows white along, and green around. A jay, unmindful of its rudeness, screeches loud in a nearby tree, then flies to the balcony to do the same. “I’m Here! I’m Here! It’s Morning! I’m Here!” Or so my translation goes. This is the first morning chainsaws are not active near or in the distance. Only the quiet sounds of wind and nature on a Spring morning, whispers of a reality I yearn to grasp. I love the sound of wind, a whisper with power. A chickadee chirps merry in a tree above, a Spring sound if there ever was one.

I still seek wisdom and search for right perspective. A part of me suggests I cut the cords which remain, though thin they are, no longer connecting myself to a past which only may have been, instead seeking only future and light. There is sense to this, theological stirrings.

There is not just one path in life which can be trod. Should the Israelites have crossed the Jordan when they first arrived? Yes, I think, the forty years were perfect only because God retains his own perfection, shaping the world to fit his plan. Only it was not the ideal, it was not the plans.

We all walk right and not so right, choosing to embrace and choosing to reject that which is before us. In the rejections we, I think, retain the residue of the ‘could have been’, a deep part of our soul grieving for the loss, and still wanting to go back and embrace it. Only the path has changed, the once perfect is now a different perfect.

A person can live their whole lives embracing this former perfect, and many have. We mourn the loss of a possible future, and feel the weight of decisions wrongly made, by us or others. For certain, we are not the only influencers of our path. Those called to tasks who do not do them are not always replaced by others. So there is loss. The Israelites wish to cross the Jordan anyhow, God tells them to go wander. There is only defeat where once there was victory.

So, what to do with that which remains? Stay connected? Cut loose? I don’t know. This morning I seek forward, so the taste of the past is acrid. Maybe I need to find the new path before I consider again the old.

Evagrius said, “If your attention falters, pray. As it is written, pray in fear and trembling, earnestly and watchfully. We ought to pray like that, especially because our unseen and wicked enemies are trying to hinder us forcefully.”

That is the urging in my own heart. The urging which I felt in the middle of the night, laying awake, watching two spiders move across the ceiling far out of reach.

I consider again the call, and seek wisdom. Those who seek shall find, it is written. I pray this is true.

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