Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: September 13, 2004


The cool breeze continues to blow, while all else is still. The lights which filled the neighborhood last night are mostly gone. Fall comes, and I am grateful. For the first time in many a week I had long periods in which the lake was mine, alone in my kayak, paddling along through the middle, the whir and roar of engines replaced by the soft sound of water brushing against the side of my small boat, or being pushed through by my paddle. A soothing sound, like a self made waterful, with wind and birds all around.

For moments at least. Fall has not yet come and boat occasionally passed by, knocking me out of my burgeoning reverie. So now, like Spring, it is warm and quiet. A perfect lake.

Productivity returned in all its forms today, with my focus somehow fitting back into the groove made by the Spirit. I got done what was on my list, and felt peace profound stirring through my being. I have much the Wesleyan about me, but in this I concede the point. There was nothing I did which returned the sweet rain, it was a gift of God, to cherish and embrace, as all his gifts should be.

I do my part, meager as it seems now, trusting that God is working and leading, pointing and directing. And not only in me, but in all those with whom my life is intended to relate, so when the time is ripe much will be fulfilled.

A relaxing sentiment really. Worry is lost, because all is in God’s hands. There is only what is before me, so I pray and trust, and do my part with an ease of soul, knowing, with increasing confidence, that infinite complexity is swirling about me, incorporating me in a beautiful pattern, a dance of the Spirit.

This dance requires only for us to be us, to really become who we are so that we fit into what God is doing. That is possibly one of the most wonderful of all things, to finally come to a point where we know who we are, want we want, our passions and desires shaking off the inner drive to live as other people demand. If we can live for ourselves, for our own soul, and for the one who made it, we find a bounty beyond measure, and others find a bounty in us. For in finding ourselves we lose the selfishness of sinful being. We no longer compete, or live to impress, or try to find the answers to life in empty paths. We turn to the eternal and it fills our souls so that peace fills and flows in and through, around and by. We look at others with the eyes of the Spirit, in a true spirit of open community, honest and welcoming, true and committed.

For if there is only us and our soul, we have no need to pull the being from others, or sink them low so as to raise our own sad stature.

But that is the trick. Learning who we are, and then leaping out into the void in order to embrace it, come what may. All life could be a disaster, death could result, but as eternal minded people, what is life? It is only a part of a much larger reality. For that reality we learn to live, and find peace abounding in all things as we do.

So, I step closer, sloughing off those ties which bind–expectations of others, demands of culture, selfish desires, sinful longings–and seek to sanctify it all, finding my being only in Christ and the sent Spirit.

I’m not there yet. But this week the clouds of heaven opened once more, and I taste of the sweet rain on my lips, praising God for who he is and what he does, even if now, in this moment, there is nothing.

That is faith. May I keep steady within it.


Roll out the blue mat on my balcony. Stand facing the rising sun in the east, though it had not yet crested the hills and homes.

Kneel down, speak a few words of prayer. Seek to fill my soul with the peace of the morning air, the aroma of cedar and fir, soothe my mind with the sounds of flying jays and scampering squirrels.

Then to write, punctuated by occasional breaks.

Six hundred words of progress this past hour. Not terribly speedy, but for now enough. Progress, quick or plodding is welcomed.

A return of soul, a renewal of spirit, by both effort and divine touch. This is a new week for more reasons than another monday arrived.

There is renewal in the air. Fall is coming soon, but it is Spring in my soul.

I pray it stays, I pray I fulfill its call.

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