Out and back again

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Every so often, maybe once a year or so, I peak my head out of my social situation and have a look around to see whether there is something afoot. Sometimes, over the years, I’ve done this and made some kind of big step, embracing something which is “out there” even if there is significant mystery involved.

I went to Wheaton under that outward expansion, and then later on to Fuller, though Fuller was the second or third post graduation peeking about that finally clicked.

Recently, I’ve had a look out about again, spending much of December through February a lot of other places than where I’m at, even if sometimes I didn’t leave where I was at. In my mind I wandered afield, and had a look around, curious if maybe my services were being called forth in this wider world once again, curious if maybe there was an end coming to this more focused inward journey. I honestly have been feeling a bit antsy, with much the same sort of inner push that had always pushed me into a curious direction, and the last time I felt it so strongly I came up to these mountains, or rather I should say I felt it about 6 months before I came up, and somehow knew there was a call for me here.

I took a class. I talked about church and ministry and possibilities. I called friends near and far, thinking there was a renewal of my own soul, and so that should be reflected among people I may not have seen for a while.

Now, I figure I’m at the end of that road. No one answered. No one called. I looked out and everyone was busy about their business and there wasn’t an answer for me. There was a hint, and a murmur, and what I assumed to be whispers. It was only the wind, and now the breeze has died down, and now my heart is weary of looking outwards when it is clear that being neither here nor there is the absolute worst position for my soul. If I cannot be there, then I must be here, with all that means. And likely what this means is the end of an even longer road, a road traveled along with people I’ve known since I was a teenager, even if friendships took longer than that to blossom.

But they are busy about their lives, the tram is now full and leaving the station, and somehow I misplaced my ticket in my other coat. Ah well.

Why write this now? Well, because it seems more potent than a mere turn of emotions, and because I’ve learned to never fully assume that what I’m feeling is entirely limited to what I’m feeling. There’s that wee chance that something is going on about this world, and it’s worth noting such a mood as this.

I guess I picked up a the various lives of Christian saints for a reason then. If there’s no room in the inn, I guess I’ll see what the caves have to offer. What I hate is that coming to the end of such a road is so entirely couple with an enormous and almost overwhelming sense of personal lack and frustration. It’s a reality that I have little to go by except my own faith and my own self-confidence to push me into realms I would not have otherwise discovered. When these falter… well, that’s something, and it’s not pretty. They’ve faltered, and that forces me into a reexamination, and it makes me realize I have to step back again. Things were whispering but they were not talking, and I’m oh so weary of nothing but whispers.

Whispers are all I have ever known, and I’m thinking tonight what I thought were words were for all this time nothing more than a branch stirred by a breeze. Which leaves me rather decisively out of luck, as I’ve walked too far down a road now to turn about.

Where else would I go?

So what was it? I think it was a lot of things, a lot of my own waning enthusiasm and the messages which never seemed to get returned to me. Fine and all those things, for it is my confidence that the Spirit is at work, though I would prefer a more active sort of work than an always and continual isolating paring of my being. I didn’t realize until today, however, that St. Pats day had more of a weight to me than I realized. Spending time with my brother was fun. When he and a work friend were the only ones, indeed the only ones to even reply to something. I figure that’s something. And I realized that with my own irritations I needed to hear voices of friendship and comfort and commitment.

There are times we need friends, and these aren’t always due to some massive emergency. We just need to know, sometimes. And I know now. And that leaves me feeling like spending more time in isolated reading, and casting off prior realities for the potential of new, whenever that comes. I just know I can’t live neither here nor there, and as there is nothing but a tease, I have to deal with here. And I don’t know why, but I imagine there will be things which speak of wisdom in coming years.

But, frankly, tonight I’m sad, and I’m deeply sad. That’s all I’ve got tonight.

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