The Mission, Regardless of Whether I Choose to Accept It

Yesterday was a shitty day.

There are aspects of my life that I had this hope were moving in a certain direction.  Some of this sense of movement?  Wishful thinking.  Things have not come as far as I want them too.

A while later I was doing better.  Not a lot better.  But a little bit.

The thing I am learning about now is just sitting, and letting things be.  In the middle of this hard time yesterday I did not do that very well.

I am spending some time, every day, just sitting.  In a way I am praying at these times.  But I am using fewer words to pray every day.  In a way I am meditating.  But also I am not.  I am getting away from methods, a little bit.  Not so focused on this way of sitting or that way of calming my thoughts.

I am learning a lot during these times.  I lot about how the name of God is I am.  A lot about how in the garden, Eve and Adam were accepting every moment with God in an undefended, vulnerable state, they weren’t grasping after a brain-centered knowledge about the nature of things.  I am learning that when Jesus readied himself for the worst thing that ever happened, the knuckleheads who went with him, they just fell asleep: while Jesus was fully present to that moment of preparation, his followers were leaving him already, when they failed to experience that moment with him.

I let my hopes and delusions get in the way yesterday.  I suspect that this quiet time I am spending every day is a bit like a fire drill, a bit like batting practice.  I am teaching myself what to do in the quiet, calm, and easy times, so that perhaps it will be a little more natural to react in times when it is stressful, and important, and difficult, to react with openess, and emptiness and calm.

For the record?  I am not very good at it, just yet.  And I really don’t like it.  But that’s the mission, for me, right now, I think.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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