I am diving into a three-year course of study through Formation in Direction, FIND. First assignments have us plunging into both eastern and western Christian spirituality, and into personality types (beginning with our own).
The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous Christian mystic in 14th century England, captures the state of my progress.
Unknowing whatever I thought I knew about God, the unknowable.
Unknowing whatever logic gets in the way of silence.
Unknowing where FIND will take me.
Anonymous begins this book by telling the reader not to read it aloud or copy it or quote from it. Its lessons about contemplative prayer belong to one reader at a time. Until I have read the 75 short chapters and actually followed their instructions, I cannot know the whole of it, nor can I explain it fully by sharing it in part.
How delightful! This unknowing!
As I travel this unknowable path toward an unknowable God, I will come here to this blog from time to time to drop pebbles of uncertain origin. They might help me find my way home. The stones on my desk are inscribed with individual words:
Always Say a Prayer
For now I shall claim them as my touchstones and solid companions to help me find my way home. Let the Unknowing begin!
view from my apartment
It was a pleasant evening in the gazebo (seen in the background). There were birds of many kinds chirping, calling, chattering; kids shouting, crying, running; adults moving here and there through the courtyard, talking amongst themselves or with their children.
One small boy was riding his little bicycle with training wheels. He was having a wonderful time; he was working very hard at it. His mother walked beside him, a hand on his shoulder.
Though I took a nice picture of the boy, a bench, and the wrought iron from inside the gazebo, it failed to upload! Just a memory now. So the general picture above will have to do, along with your imagination. Where did you learn to ride a bike? a trike? a scooter?
Moments go by so quickly. Children grow in size and all of us grow in spirit, if we are so blessed. Take some time. It is your time.
The time you spend noticing a particular moment will be like adding a drop of beauty into your being. Repeat. You will become more grounded and better able to face the challenges of your day. Let love enter your heart and spill into the world. The world so needs you.
Kairos has found me at last in this time, this space, this moment of reflection. Cool morning, warm sun streaming through my favorite window.
Having moved non-stop it seems from holidays, son’s wedding, conference, sister-time, ministers’ retreat (with work to fill “spare time”), pastoral care, a couple of sermons squeezed in, meetings, plans, and more, means that personal time has been limited at best. Not a half day off with no work that had to be done, to the point that it did not qualify as true rest–just another thing to wedge between A & B and on toward Z. I have not had/blocked out enough time to give my soul a chance to catch up.
So I pause without agenda–except to let everything go–for the next few hours. Let this sunshine recharge my weakened batteries for a spell. The battery warning light was not glowing orange but red. Reserves have been tapped frequently to get through specific tasks or responsibilities only to leave me depleted at the end. Complete a task–barely–and move on before taking time to sweep my spirit clean. Float free like wind and water.
So let my spirit clear up with these blue skies after a gray day; let this breeze flow through me; let this poem speak to my heart; let this walk bring me down to earth; let this music dance for me until I can dance, too.