Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Month: July 2007


Early in the morning light a chipmunk decided to walk down the stares, pausing every few steps, watching, listening. A jay visited, for only a brief moment. I was up early again, the first time in a long while, before the sun even hinted at a rise, the calm of the predawn hours a balm to my active soul.

I woke up wanting to read, wanting to read ancient texts. So I did, for a while, slowly sloughing off the dross of the last couple of weeks, my mind feeling like returning to more fruitful fields.

There is a peculiar sense in my soul I have passed yet another marker, a stage in which some of the old is left behind. I stumble around still, but find myself more ready to plunge forward, less interested in that which distracts and more in what fills. This is peculiar because the outward aspects of my life don’t necessarily reveal this inner sense. Many, manifold, are those who more readily show a life pointed towards the eternal. Yet within… that is the measure God takes of us, his concern is not for our actions, desiring we rather spend all our lives within a single room, unproductive, then go out and do wonderful works at the cost of our soul.

We mark this life by what we do, who we know, how much influence we can assert over others, over ourselves. God only cares about our heart and how it increasingly reflects his presence. That is a key aspect of shifting our perception to the eternal. What we do becomes a distant second to who we are, knowing that only if we are of God will what we do be of God. Wesley paraphrased, “First God works, then we can work. First God works, then we must work.” God works within, transforming us entirely, to the point where we don’t have to convince ourselves of doing what is right, we don’t have to wrestle with the ethical questions or try and arouse a passion within, instead as Paul said, we can’t not do what is of the Spirit. The goal isn’t the activity, it is the becoming of people who instinctively act in accord with the fluid Spirit, letting our lives and prayers join in a dance together, our worship arising from our being in resonance with the Three-In-One.

For now, though, the dance is awkward, the steps are confusing, the rhythm difficult to master.

This morning it seems, however, like I’ve stepped to a new stage, one I can’t define any better than I could define the previous. I only hope it’s not a remedial class. I’m eager to learn new lessons, though I’m not confident I have yet mastered the old.

Either all of this, or some measure of regained focus feels like I have waded through a rushing stream and am dripping clean.


It’s now 85 degrees in the house. I realized a few years back that it’s at 85 degrees that my brain stops working. It’s not that I’m bothered, or frustrated, or otherwise put off by the heat. It’s just that as I try to do something I realize the brain isn’t working, and consistently that happens at 85 degress.

Of course then I get bothered, frustrated and otherwise put off by the heat.

So, there it is.

Spirituality and weather do in fact go together.

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