Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: July 1, 2004


Half blind was how I spent the day. Having to scrape the remnants of a contact out of my eye was a bit of a worrying experience and the throbbing headache which followed told me all was not well once it was out. My plans to survey the woodlands was indeed pushed aside, leaving me to read of ancient Israel for a long while and fritter away other whiles. Fortunately, my early morning venture satisfied that part of my soul which seeks regular contact with the various elements.

Over the last week I’ve had a some conversations about the various Biblical prophesies, as they are, and predictions, as they are considered. A burst of realization entered into my soul when it occured to me that throughout my Bible even the most very devout rarely made the right predictions. It seems the only ones who really saw and welcomed the work of God were those who let the prophesies be more fluid, more focused on general ideals than on specific events. Theology often, too often, gets in the way of experiencing God. Because the theology becomes our God, being at many points more palpable and approachable than the God who is complicated and has a distinct personality.

The people who are most sure of the revelation are the ones who miss out on seeing what God actually does. That was the pharisees, a holy, devout, God-fearing bunch if ever there was one, who would not accept Jesus because he did not fit their pattern of what God would do in this world, so they rejected what God was doing.

Prophesies, it seems, are not made as teases for our own sake, they are not trailers for the upcoming events, they are not predictions meant to help us draw a picture of what will happen, so we can figure out the end like it is a mystery novel. They are meant as confirmations of the fact that when God acts it is according to how he said he would act, acting in a way which perfectly fits the prophesies for what they are, but rarely as we make them out to be.

There is a fluidity in coming before God, in living with God. This is wonderful only if we understand this reality means being humble in our own estimations of his significantly higher plans. If we are, then we celebrate what he does. If we’re not, we are caught looking other ways when his activitiy astounds the world


A soft thud came from outside. I turned and looked up from my pillow. Before I saw anything the loud triple shriek of a steller’s jay told me of my visitor. Then a softer call. I had to clean off the seed yesterday, the house is being painted this week, and so there is nothing on the menu, but for three pieces of Trader Joe’s dehydrated pineapple. I was curious to see the reaction.

The jay bounced around, trying to find some seed in crevices, then hopped onto the rail, and speared a piece of pineapple with its beak. Well, it tried a couple of times, then succeeded, proceeding to fly off with its prize.

A squirrel came soon after, did the same hunt around, picked up the pineapple in its paws, turned it around, nibbled, then dropped the pineapple.

It soon gave up, hopped off the balcony. I could hear it pounding against a tree and telling the world what it thought of my negligent service.

With such a reaction I could only put some seed out, a little bit, to appease the wild animals.

Spiritually, I feel like I’ve hit an impasse. I don’t know why, or what it is, or even how to respond. There is a wall standing before me, and I consider whether it is a wall better faced by pressing onwards, or a wall to scale by retreating into a forest grove for a long while.

I decided on the latter while on the lake this morning, then came home and tried to take my contacts out to clean them. One took a bit of effort, my eyes were drier than I thought. The other came right out, well, a quarter of it did. It is a peculiar task to try to coax a contact out when a good piece is quite stuck.

So, I wear glasses now, glasses far too old with a prescription that was given in the misty past of my personal history. Not real conducive for hiking or pondering in the wilderness.

I think I’ll find a good book, and stir my mind in other ways. It is in my soul that what I feel is not just the temporary issues of regular life, but something deeper, stronger, more profound which will take more than just a day’s activity no matter what I do.

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