Dawn flirts with the day, gently exploring the scenery before announcing its intentions. White frost covers cars and houses. The birds and beasts have not yet stirred, except for one lone raven flying by just now.
I woke up disturbed. There’s no getting around the fact. I woke up disturbed in soul, anxious and almost frantic to do something which would garner relief. I felt yesterday the overwhelming need for some measure of community, not the acts of community which are like artificial sweetener, giving a taste without the reality, but real open and honest community where I can be known as I know, accepted and pushed, delving into the depths with those few who have passed along the fiery road.
And yet, explorations down this path have been met with doors, roadblocks, detours, or accidents. Not all paths are closed, and scouts are exploring the more promising trails. Still, the yearning I woke up with is not realized, nor will it be today.
Take a few steps, one might say. And this is true. Except for that vague gnawing in my soul which urges me to wait yet longer for some elusive reality that will transcend my own misplaced efforts to solve a crisis. Samuel is late, you see, and the battle is already started. Shall I sacrifice or shall I wait? Shall my urgency and cowardice, even in embracing positive action, be my guiding light. Or shall I, through all things, settle myself with the peace of the Spirit who works in all things?
This is not according to popular wisdom. Ours is a go-getting world, in which the ones who achieve are the ones who hunt down their achievement. There is certainly something in that. But, the Church was not founded on such. It was founded on people who came from various paths, and who prayed together, or alone, waiting on God. It was built on Peter, the rock who waited, and stumbled, and waited some more until his power came from outside his own strength. It was built by folks such as Antony who left everything to become nothing so as to find all things.
So what is it I am waiting for? What is that “thing” that the previous post implied? What is my Sunday?
I don’t know.
There are “things”, changes of my life and soul which could be affected vitally by physical blessings, whether it be a paycheck which supports my soul’s yearnings, finding that ‘special someone’ who ignites heretofore diminished aspects of my reality, or maybe something which doesn’t come to mind.
These are not the answers, however, even if they might be a trigger, pillars on which faith is to be built, much as the Land was for the Israelites.
At the core, however, is not a committed relationship or a steady income or a place of private and quiet dwelling. At the core is that ‘strange warmth’ of which Wesley speaks. It is that Pentecost of the soul, in which what is believed becomes infused with power and light and hope so that all of life is reinterpreted.
To see the physical aspects as being the answers is to infuse each with too much power. It would be to incite disappointment when nothing lives up to the ultimate inner yearning for eternity.
So I wait. I wait for the physical realities, but these are not at the root of my pining. They may come sooner rather than later, or later rather than sooner. Without the prevenient work of the Holy Spirit, however, these will leave me only vaguely satisfied and still hollow.
I look to these as markers in a way, but look past these for the answers to my soul. I can embrace these only if I do not embrace them as my satisfaction. Only the Spirit can bring the peace I need, only the Three-in-One can fill my soul with that which I require. Until God works, I can only wait. For it is the peace which I want, which we all want. With peace and fullness anything, anywhere can be a place of light and hope and joy, no matter the circumstances, no matter the company or lack thereof.
This is what Paul tells us, at least. And he was one who ran the race.