Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: September 7, 2004


Thick, puffy, white clouds fill the air, blue sky peeks out, making the view above swamplike.

I woke up early this morning with a squirrel on my deck, and a chipmunk running around on the woodpile. Such a way to wake up. Inspiring.

It is the case that the spiritual life has rhythms and cycles. There are ups and downs, dry moments and constant rain. Sometimes the drought lasts for years.. but in an instant all changes. Sometimes, nothing changes and yet we are called to make do with what we have, irrigating ourselves what the clouds do not deliver.

For the last two months or so I’ve been in a slump. Productive in a way, I suppose, but spiritually devoid. My situation encourages but doesn not demand a deep spirituality, and so I have slacked, or drifted, or lost touch.

My discipline has slipped, my heart has wandered, and I seek to assert myself in various ways.

This week there has been a change. Not in me, and that’s the problem. God is calling, and so far I’ve let it ring without picking up, distracting myself with artificial interests.

He called again last night, keeping me up, letting difficult thoughts fill my entire being, making me wrestle with who I am, where I am at, who I want to be, and why I am not.

I’ve lost the rhythm of a spiritual life, and fallen away in spirit if not in mind.

So, I need to wrestle with this a bit, come to some sort of response, re-evaluate and retune my inner self, so as to meet the call for what it is.

Everything else takes a backseat to this. It is what my soul demands and will not relent until I pay proper heed.

Writing doesn’t clear anything up, indeed it exacerbates the problem as a form of self-assertion, as a way of doing a duty to another cause, as a way of excusing my lack of devotion.

I’m going to read today, I’m going to pray today, and see what comes of it all. May there be light, and may dawn finally come.


Stepping outside is a delightful move this evening. The sun has done its duty today and the inside of the house was warmed. Only a small breeze blows, not enough to go through open windows or screen doors, merely enough to cool the balcony, where the stars shine bright.

It was hot today, and I did not seek out ways to beat the heat. It was productive albeit in a bland, distasteful way where I begrudge the fact I did in fact get things done.

I know my issue tonight. I need to go running, go kayaking. It has been a week since I spent extended time moving about in exercise, and now my whole body, mind and soul rebel.

I also yearn for renewed spiritual zeal. My prayer life, unstructured, suffers, my times of study, undemanded, have fallen by the wayside.

So, I feel filled with a mild discontent and know that the solution is within reach, if only I stretched out a bit.

There is a tendency in this to blame or seek to attach spiritual reasons, or admit the reality of causes unfulfilled. This might be there, but not having done my part, I cannot know the depths.

Tomorrow, as always, is another day.

Then again I always feel this way on days which pass ninety degrees. I’m alert, but not judgmental, and I think that’s a fine attitude to have about oneself and others.

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