Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Month: October 2004 (page 3 of 3)


A perfect fall day, so perfect the heart doesn’t notice, it is simply content, finding peace in the mere act of sitting and staring, basking in the fullness of a day done right. In fact, that’s how I spent my day yesterday, literally the whole day. One spot to another. All day. Any moment in which I tried to do something productive, my heart would turn outwards, and I would stare. From morning until past dark. This was coupled with prayer which seeped out of me, unwilling almost, but once began actively carried onwards.

I’m tired now, and am going to go to bed, but I am left tonight thinking of Isaiah 7 and its present message for my life:

1 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.
2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with [1] Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.
3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, [2] to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood-because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says:

” ‘It will not take place,
it will not happen,
8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’ “

This and other similar passages speak of the reality of faith against all hope,. Others warn against trusting in the help of others, such as Egypt, for salvation. There is only faith, and that which may seem an answer is no answer, but merely a shadow to dissuade our perfect path.

A curious thought. May I stand firm in faith.


There are days meant for rigorous activity and days meant for quite repose, days meant for curious adventure, and days meant for romantic dreams. Today, is a day meant for staring off into the distance, letting the mind rest on nothing in particular, only the wind, and the birds, and the trees. Plus, the occasional chipmunk which isn’t bothered, and runs under ones legs to the birdbath for a long drink, not two feet away.

A glass of good irish whiskey and an expansive deck surround by cedars helps a great deal with the sitting and staring.

Funny thing, it’s the only thing in my soul to do all day. That and pray all day. I wonder whether whiskey and prayer are supposed to go together. But, as I pray all day, I figure it’s the better part to pray no matter what accompanies the activity.

My soul pines for eternal light, and finds ease only in the full pursuit, which today entails sitting and waiting and listening.

So I do, and shall continue. What for? I know nothing of that answer.

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