Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: November 24, 2004

evening

The snow is melting, but there’s so much of it it’s going to take a while. The world is still white, with brown flecks and green highlights. The trees are bare, the roofs are not. The roads are icy, until late morning at least.

A cold caught up with me and now lingers. My car was taken to the mechanic where my window was smashed and my radio was stolen, something which ended up saving me money oddly enough. The rule continues…. never trust me with a car, it often becomes a victim of the swirling maelstrom. It’s back now, parked in the icy driveway, fixed and in shape to get a new registration… but can’t move as the emergency brake release snapped, thus leaving the brake permanently on, until I have a look at it later tonight. At which point it may or may not be fixed.

There is much swirling about, and this is merely one point of where it broke into physical reality. One wonders if this is simply an irritation or something more pointed. There are no answers to this question, and the headache I have pushes any analysis away for the moment.

Still, there’s hope. And before the dawn comes, before light is shown, before all we wait for is revealed… it’s good to say that I have hope in that which I cannot see and do not know.

Blindly through the cave, bumps and bruises along the way. That is often the story of faith. Pressing on.

Then there’s this, something I wrote earlier in the year:

I am basically a very shallow person. If given the chance, I will happily not delve into the deep end of life, and can be contented with simple entertainments. Some folks are naturally deep, naturally religious, naturally philosophical. These people are oftentimes often bores, but that’s beside the point. I, however, was thrown into the deep end, and have spent years now flailing about, trying to find my way, becoming ever more adept all the while. Which is likely a good thing, as my natural shallowness would have never forced me out to where I am pleased to be. God, there is no doubt, wants me to be more than I want to be. That’s his way, though, so no surprise. I just have to remind myself of the fact.

The sad thing is that once in the deep end of life, one can’t go back to being purely shallow, even though one might try it for a while. The brain works against a person in these cases, and happily, eagerly, makes for cognitive dissonance at the most inopportune times. There is a bliss about ignorance, but there’s a quality about depth which while not bliss, can be epiphanic. I live for those times, which pull me through the times in which wrestling with unknowable things becomes too much a burden. Heaven can be found in those moments, and will be those moments continually. It’s not about harps and clouds, it’s about being fully everything we were always meant to be for all time, without our own failings constantly tripping us up. Choose God, and choose yourself — that’s the basics of the Christian message.

I think I’ll stick with it for a while longer yet, just to see what happens mind you. Wisdom awaits I hear. Though my own shallowness still wants to keep me away. Someday, I’ll become deep, I think, Someday. Until then, I must learn to ride the waves, and catch the wind.

morning

The day is crisp and gorgeous. I leave my window open at night, and a fan near the window because I love the cold air when I sleep. Last night I had four blankets piled on me, the last coming in the wee hours of the morning when I woke up with a bit of a chill, despite the three hearty blankets I fell asleep with. I threw another one on, considered my thoughts, prayed for those who came to mind, and fell back asleep, not waking until about 8:30… a very late sleeping in for me. I woke up and watched the breeze stir the bright green branches of a cedar, and watched as juncoes, chickadees, squirrels and chipmunks began their day foraging outside my window. It is always a disney scene when I wake up, but for the animals speaking or singing in good English.

Over the last few days, since Thanksgiving, I’ve mellowed. Not a good mellow necessarily. Every few months, or maybe a bit longer, I come to an end. And end of what I rarely know, only I know it is an end just as I know when I come to the end of pier. I stop and look around, look inward, retreating for the most part from most interactions with others, even as tenuous as my interactions with others are these days.

Sometimes, in the past, I’ve become mired in these places. This time I pressed for some kind of light, and pressed onwards in at least feeding a creative burning. There is a certain amount of courage which comes from the realization that God has his firm and strong hand on one’s life. It is a courage which encourages reaching out in diverse directions with an understanding that any development will be stopped dead if it is not purely the purpose of God. This is my life the last many years, so now when I reach out I do it without expectation of anything, except that God will or will not lead whatever I do towards something more. What that more is remains always a mystery until it is revealed. Or not. That is the other side of a heavy hand… there is a lot done which bears no fruit, and a lot which seems overwhelmingly stifling if one forgets to view the world through the lense of faith.

So, I do and do, some days feeling discouraged over years of not seeing fruit from continual work, like today. But, there is only to press onwards, because now I’m in a situation where I’m wholly dependent on the work of God, and wholly unable to seize hold of that which is distant from his purposes in my life. This is not now a happy place, but it is a good place, as in our culture the ability to seize hold of what we think is right in the moment is likely the largest hindrance to true spiritual growth in the long term.

So, I do and do. And pray. Pray for light and encouragement, for restoration and resetting, pray htat something I do echoes past the enclosed walls of the present outwards towards some benefit. There is only obedience. And there is only to renew one’s sight so that I can see with sanctified eyes that which would otherwise be discouragement.

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