Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: May 5, 2004

evening

The perfect weather continued throughout the day, too relaxing in fact. It was not the kind of day to work, rather my grogginess continued and I drifted into less intensive pursuits. That’s fine, I work on Saturdays, and usually Sundays, I’m not sure if it was the change of weather, the wonderful breeze, or some recent exertions, only I just felt so entirely relaxed today, completely so.

And I let myself relax. That’s not always a bad spiritual quality. A Sabbath day is one of the ten commandments and all. Though, I can’t let myself fall behind yet more. I love the writing, I feel energized by the tasks, so when all feel restored in mind and body, I’m eager to jump back in. I think this might mean beginning to set my alarm clock. I notice that when I get up late, I have a significantly harder time starting. This morning it was seven thirty… not too late, but enough tasks are needing to be done first and through that next few hours I have a hard time settling into a rhythm.

There is the thought to blame some sort of spiritual block, or distration… only this time I think the only distraction is myself, and only finding and maintaining discipline within this decidedly loose environment is the answer.

That being said, I also have to start going to bed earlier. Eleven is too late if I want to get up as early as I want, and be ready to go as I ought.

morning

Early overcast skies burned off with the rising sun. A steady breeze continues to cool. Birds sing joyously, all kinds, and jays making sounds which make them sound like different kinds. At six it was like standing in an aviary — every tree, and just about every branch had a member of the morning chorus. The sky is bright blue, not a cloud around. Perfect day, one could easily say.

And now the electricity is off (as I transcribe this, it is obviously back), meaning I have to write rather than type, and choose to sit in the sun, rather than at my desk. I also notice typing most of the time does not result in neat penmanship.

This gives me a perfect chance to balance out my peculiar kayak tan — which consists of tan knees and pale shins.

I woke up groggy and at peace — finding it difficult throughout the mornng to get into the flow of writing, which works out, because I likely would have lost my efforts in this, one of our occasional mountain power outages.

My mood is one of contented staring, sitting back and immersing myself in the world around; the wind blowing over and through me as I stand motionless a rock or stump.

I really do like the mountains, they are good for my soul, balm for my spiritual ills.

This is, I suppose, a decent time to begin to describe my understanding of Evangelical Monk.

First off, a monk is a person, man or woman who understands the pursuit of God and Christ to be the overarching principle in life. Everything is weighed according to this goal, and anything which impedes or distracts is discarded.

For some things this can be immediate, sudden and complete changes can be made. For other aspects it is a process; changing the heart and mind takes more time than changing housing or a job.

The key is at every point to ask, “What will lead me to Christ?”, “Will this lead me to Christ?” or “How is this leading me to Christ?” The first two are moral and discipline questions, determining our choices and use of time and space, helping us to find useful paths. The last is a theological question which takes account of circumstances and develops wisdom as well as focus.

There is a lot here to be discussed, including the ideas of singleness and related vows. I think I’ll deal with those later. The distinction, I should add here, is that while the goal is the same, an Evangelical monk will take into acount the distinctions in theology, and thus lead a life which has some distinctions. For instance, I can, as a person who seeks to put all things before Christ, understand my present singleness as a gift, to be used in such a way that I can pursue Christ with significantly more singlemindedness than a married person can, see it as a benefit to the goal… rather than as the handicap most Evangelicals (married and single) consider it to be. However, I take no vow, and am open to change (welcome it)… if that is how God leads. This is quite Pauline, I think. (This leads me to consider again the thought of how much the concept of inerrancy is much more a rhetorical than real position in conservative churches… but that will be included in the additional thoughts later).

So, basically, an Evangelical monk is just that… someone who devotes their life to Christ, from the perspective of Evangelical theology. It may or may not be a permanent call, nor is it a “higher” call. It is just a call, which some receive in all the various guises of the Church. Some are better at giving an outlet than others to this path.

Some still need to forge a way of their own. That’s sort of how I see this present writing and task.

© 2022 Learning to Dance

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑