I haven’t been writing very much recently. There are assorted reasons for this, some of which have to do with the fact that last week I spent my online writing time mostly elsewhere.
Another reason is that I wrote alot, and erased it before it ever was presented. Such acts are exceedingly rare for me… except for the last month. I am not sure whether I have lost my trail or if I am in the midst of the storm, whether I am poor in heart or whether the path before me is uphill.
That’s what I like about running, you know. Running uphill one moves slower, breathes harder, feels the muscles strain. Running downhill gravity takes over, so that the danger is not in the effort but in the misstep and tumble.
Life is precisely like this, only we can’t often see the spiritual path in front of us. Those who run downhill often are critical of those who are running uphill, because the only thing seen is the speed and force of the running, not the incline or obstacles. Which is why it’s always dangerous to judge, others or ourselves. We often don’t know. There is only to press on and trust that one will get stronger no matter the trail if one presses on. But how does one express the reality of this unknowing? To say what presently appears to be the reality may be misguided, for what one sees now may not be what is truly real.
A lot of what I want to write I can’t fully or freely express, for there are doors to depths which remain locked in this forum. Suffice it to say I don’t write because I don’t even know good from ill in my present state, dependent on the observation and on the later destination my present could be fully grand or rather sad. It’s a state of incomplete existence, determined by a future and present beyond my ken, though it is this interpretive future which is my only frame of reference.
So there is faith. Things we can’t see and do not know, and have not yet heard, and so forth. Faith exists because to find light one has to believe in something, in something grand and hopeful, which points beyond the present into a divine reality which encompasses the realities of those near and far. In believing, in trusting, I hold onto that divine unity in order to take hold of all that for which Christ has taken hold of me. Stumbling or doubting or frustrating serves to buttress my freudian ego, but such a defense cares little for that higher call of Christ. So, one must deny this ego, press forward, believe in things impossible and set forth to pray when all is dark and light, not distinguishing the moods in deference to the prayer induced strength.
That being the case, there’s more to this spiritual life than earnest intent. To find prayer one must at times be ruthless. Or at least ruthless in particulars.
I realized some particulars the last couple of days, and spent some time today doing something about it. There’s a lot going on in this world. There’s a lot of suffering, and a lot of talking, and a lot of blaming and a lot of posturing. There’s a lot of pain, and sadness, and controversy, and politics.
Very little of which requires anything from me. That’s the rub. I wander through story after story, read this opinion and that, take in the news and the analysis of the news, trying to form opinions which will ripen then rot, fallen upon the ground. There is none to pluck my opinions once formed, and make use of them. Yet, on every topic of consideration I have well considered my position to argue, to discuss, to relate to others who likewise form decisionless opinions.
Today I realized it’s not for me.
My freshman year at college I watched, maybe, a couple hours of television throughout the entire year. I was cut off from news, and insights, and opinions, and controversies. This was before the internet bloomed, so even if I had a computer at the time, I had no real connection with a world outside of the one I was living in.
I appreciate this now.
Too much. Much too much. It’s not for me, nor the contemplative path which has been set out for me. Even if I am not presently aware of the destination I can no longer dilly dally with distractions and frustrations. Either I focus on that which is my task, that fuller life of the Spirit or I change my situation altogether, throwing my lot back down the hill to be fully engulfed by the meritless mire.
That my path will eventually open up I do not doubt. So, to jump ship and lose myself in the terrible tragedies and controversies is to waste no end of time not doing now what can only be done now. Obviously, such a thing is silly, yet I do it. I look a mile ahead or a hundred yards distant and run into the boulders right in front of me. It’s ludicrous but I do it.
No more, at least that’s my intent.
I’m fasting. Maybe food, but mostly the other kinds of additives which provoke nothing from me but more discontent. I am happy and eager to participate in opinions asked of me, or to ponder decisions put before me, or engage situations and people pressed in front of me. But for those things which I can only hear and see, yet not touch or know? I have got to let it all go.
The news sites I regularly visit… gone from the bookmarks. The opinion formers I often peruse… no more will I pause in my day to read their words. My very start page, that initial burst of news and information so efficiently displayed by my.yahoo.com is now no more my internet home. I’ve switched to something entirely more in keeping with my intended pursuits to open my browsing experience.
I must, I must, find my muse in other things. In things light and ethereal, earthy and present, spiritual and beautiful, brilliant and palpable.
Only in pursuing Christ will I find the peace of Christ. Only in reaching out after the Spirit will it be the fruit of the Spirit which forms within and through me. Odd thing that I expect the peace and the fruit without my focus remaining on that which calls and demands my soul.
So I pray. I pray for fruition and peace, joy and light, for myself, and for those near and far whose call is the same.
I seek the restoration of the contemplative life in my reality so that I can find the fullness of Christ in my reality with whom and wherever he leads. This is the only way to tap into the fluidity of the Spirit. That, above all, is my present goal. And I need to get back at it with more than half-hearted zeal. My heart demands such.
And it demands quite loudly at this moment. For this whole post was intended to be little more than a note saying I’ve changed my Morning and Evening blog a bit, with a new program underneath the digital hood. I’m going to personalize it over the next coming days or weeks, just not yet.
The heart calls out, you see, and I stand listening to the echo of its call, to determine how exactly this valley hereabouts is formed.
And I listen for another or others doing the same.
If you wish to be in control of your body and soul, forestall the passions by rooting out their causes.
–Thalassios the Libyan