Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: May 21, 2004

evening

The fog rolled in, the fog rolled out, the fog rolled in and away all the day, streaming and billowing. The chill continued, more than once I caught myself shivering, not once did I consider closing my sliding door. Ravens flew all about, excited by the wind, stirred, I believe, by the dramatic weather.

Two ground squirrels, their thin tails waving, made an appearance. I regularly see them along the lake shore, not here, maybe they were lost. It is late, and I am up, and for not a single good reason other than I don’t feel any particular burden to get up early in the morning. In staring out today, I did make plans if not exciting onesfor the morrow. I think I shall consider the trees, take note of their growth, and shape, look closely at the bark, feel the leaves, the texture of the branches.

I intended to go out this afternoon, only it was a melancholy day. I’m a firm believer in a certain amount of melancholy, makes a person think, look more deeply. I’ve passed my measure by a bit already, so more would not have been good for my soul. My kayak stayed on the deck, collecting condensation.

Indeed I considered going out, seeking God, asking for wisdom and direction. I thought about it, and the moment I did I felt an answer without the wait. The answer was wait. I have my answer, I have my goals, so sitting and asking for more at this moment would not have been a worthwhile venture. Maybe for other reasons, though for those reasons I might as well stay in my room, the cell that teaches everything according to the fathers.

I seek something but I don’t want the take the path to get there. I have, however. I just don’t want to. God gets the credit, for the walls, for the closed doors, for the direction he has pulled and pushed me. I would have settled, in just about every area of my life but for his strong, heavy hand.

So now, where do I stand. Nowhere with nothing. Only potential and dreams and possibilities are ahead of me. For those I write now, for those things I say what it is like to sit in the void in this present, where there is nothing other than faith. In a way this has a pure sense to it, a fullness which potential success may obscure. While I wrestle in this moment I wonder if I will look back and consider this time one of the more pure moments between me and God. Not that I am most mature, no that road is very long and I hope to continue down it whether with success or with nothing. Rather, here I am, stepped away from everything, seeking only obedience, seeking only to do those thing which are before me, which seem right in the moment. Do these things without apparent reward, without visible advancement. For obedience. I let loose those things which bind, those things I loved, or could have grown to love. I learned to hold all things loosely, and much fell away in my weakening grip.

Now tonight I sit, alone, and not alone. Frustrated in many ways, eager and passionate in others. I wait, I pray, I work, according to obedience, and the hope for tasting eternity.

This road does continue to ascend.

morning

It is an odd thing to watch the fog roll by while half blind. My contacts were out, my glasses were off when I first awoke, and I looked out into the vague shapes of the wider world and realized it was mistier than usual, increasingly indistinct. Everything became even more hazy, dimmer, obscured. I watched for a long while in this state, not able to see anything more distinct than the changing of colors, the lessening of color.

Then I got up, the sun came out, blue sky all around. A bright sunny spring day was beginning. I put in my contacts and sat down at the computer.

An hour later I turn and see white drifting by, streaming by like an inverted river. Fog is back, the kind of fog which often portends more active precipitation, in winter snow, in Spring? I don’t know. It is cold, this fog, I am chilled. Without excuse, though, for my window remains wide open.

I consider this day and what it brings, over the last week I have delved deeply into the resurrection, a significantly more encouraging study than the crucifixion. I dwelt on the doubts they faced even before the Risen Lord, a curious thing, and a comforting one in a way. It is true, as I learned from Yancy years ago, that the reality of Christ’s presence did not change the importance of faith. Israel had an active God, they still rebelled. So, in our struggles, we are left wishing for more visible signs, but I know that these signs don’t change the core questions of me before God.

I feel like sitting back today, letting deep thoughts stay in the depths. In saying this I realize it betrays my shallowness, that innate nature of mine which makes the present struggles more than a little ironic.

There is time for levity and release, and occasions in which pressure we put on ourselves should relax. I yearn to be closer to Christ, and today my efforts will take on a more passive approach. That’s fine, I think, as long as it is not a habit.

I could be wrong. Ah… I could be wrong about a lot of things.

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