Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: May 1, 2004

evening

Ah, I’m quick becoming a mountain native. Friendly and nice to the locals, suspicious and bothered by the visitors and their city ways. A car was honking for a long while, who does that in such a pristine area, when people generally are in bed by nine? The coyotes seem stirred up, a tempting feast of pets to choose from, I suppose. For these reasons or others, it seems an agitated evening. I sat in the dark on my balcony watching and listening for a long while, seeing some movement along the driveway, hearing nothing but people noise. The Big Dipper is still perfectly framed in my trees, the only stars I can see right now.

Not exactly a complete day away, but it was a restful day I suppose. I feel agitated tonight, but the day itself seemed peaceful.

My plans to write more about monkness is again going to be pushed along, I think. Something stirred me earlier, which brought interest, only my distractions by the late noise shoved it right out.

I’m about the same state I ended with yesterday.

Ah, not every day is as filled with decent reflection. The soul goes through highs and lows, activity and lulls, so maybe I’m just in a valley, where it seems comfortable not to think, where I am feeling fine not pursuing the issues of the present.

Or maybe I’m feeling shallow and thoughtless for other reasons I don’t know about. We’ll see.

Most likely I’ll be trying another church tomorrow. That’s a big step for me, oddly. It’s the world I’m most comfortable with, and yet I am not wishing to be a part.

It occured to me yesterday that had I put a little effort and been willing to widen my pastoral search, I could easily be Pastor Pat, doing my part assisting as a religious leader for a community. It is my training, and I only lacked the impetus to really pursue that direction. I could have played the game, gotten a job in another state, or even wandered up this state to the north, where a church plant was inviting me.

I think about that, and I realize how interesting it would have been, but how also all these present wrestlings would have been pushed aside. Most pastors do that, of course, living a life outward focused, without taking real measure of their own deepest parts. Some make it through, the holiest ones can find the way of searching inward and outward. Many don’t, many who I’ve worked with in the past, either have come to a wall, or I know for a fact will reach a point where, if they want to grow, they are going to find a great deal of confusion.

This all is preparation I know, forcing me to stop, so that later whatever happens will not force a stop.

Interesting. God is in control, so we’ll see what happens.

And, writing this reminds me of my desire to focus only on the present. I drifted again, even if positively. The present is a hard place to be, at least without an assured future. That’s where the secret lies, and so I’ll have to try again, and keep myself presently focused.

morning

This morning I feel like taking a bit of a sabbath. I think both mental and spiritual toil take their toll, and while I am not likely to go wander this wider world, it is nice every once in a while to pause the examination.

The day is bright and clear, the weather cool, the birds are flying around in busy activity.

And I? Feel like a restful day, of less serious pursuits.

On my mind is the idea of what I mean by evangelical monk, or maybe on my mind is an interest in exploring what that all means.

I wouldn’t do it justice now.

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