Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: May 16, 2004


A fair mountain breeze blows, a movement of peace itself, active calm. It soothes, it eases. Perfect one might say. I would say. Even though I did not go outside very much today, the view of the wind and sun and wonderful sky was a delight. It is balm to my soul just to look at, a measurable difference from my prior urban haunts. It is right and good.

Today was a day away, not from home, from responsibilities, from tasks. I will get back tomorrow, focused and renewed, excited again about writing, about delving deeper.

The message of this weekend was direct, without direct words. Keep at the tasks, keep doing what is next, what is right, and in staying steady there will be light. God is a chessmaster, we are pieces in his game willing or able to fight. He leads, does not demand, our movement. We can choose to drift away, refuse, and he lets us. Ultimately his final game will be won, our choice is not to impede him, it is whether we want to participate in the victory.

Like complex strategy he moves far ahead of the immediate, making what appears to be senseless demands for an ultimate win. We want to know everything, but we can’t understand how all the pieces are working together, how he is manuevering. We can choose to move or not, but only in the free movement of following his lead will we find ultimate joy. So, we have to act without knowing why, without needing immediate gratification of our yearnings.

This is the spiritual life, learning to flow, to glide with the wind as it blows, to move without full knowledge, knowing only the worthwhile end.

That being said, I feel it is good to keep at my tasks, to pursue my daily writing in its various forms for reasons only God knows. There is light at the end of the darkness, land across the sea, a resting place beyond the void.

The blind leap out. That’s the only way we truly can understand the fluidity and beauty of a spirit filled life. Not profound or new, just settling in to my understanding, becoming part of my being, a lesson really being learned.


Sun washed my room this morning, my first sight of the day, filling with a radiant glow, a visible delight. Squirrels gambol over the pine needles still draping the ground. Then the haze moved in, an overcast sky blanketing and hiding. Same as my day yesterday, without the humid mugginess of the valley. I learned again I love the mountain climate, and delight in returning. A wonderful, enjoyable day away with surprises and peace all together.

I watched Troy on Friday night, and realized what a movie devoid of a soul looks like, a movie which fully reflects a European secular perspective on religion and fully misses what it means to be human and heroic. The director and screenwriter noted that modern audiences don’t want the gods. Amazing how someone could be given $200 million dollars who so misses contemporary reality. Lord of the Rings, the Passion, even the distasteful Da Vinci Code tap into the postmodern yearning for the divine. Petersen misses that, and misses the heart of the story. He has no conception of what makes a story which lasts the centuries, though he has the skills to make the appearance of one. This movie shows what Lord of the Rings could have been, what Last Temptation of Christ was, a portrayal of humans without the grandness of the larger story, the story which makes divine tales worthy of consideration. Jackson succeeded because he used the effects as a tool, while showing he had the heart of the story, for the most part. Troy misses the point of itself all the way through, and is tedious.

This is also indicative of much of modern church reactions. Too many are stuck in the culture of the eighties, when modernity peaked and died within the same decade. Church too is tedious, for those addicted to modernity want the rational gospel, the sales techniques, but gut or do not know the depths of the story they purport to tell. A good storyteller knows the soul of the story even more than the details of the action. Petersen failed in this, and the Church has failed in this as well.

There is more to say on many things, only I feel restful and reflective right now. I’ll wade my way through the thoughts of this weekend and see what comes up later.

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