Friday, September 5, 2014

Journey to nowhere

Earlier this week, I felt somewhat unglued and ready for a routine. Getting kids back to school in different weeks, with one attending evening college classes as a high-school junior and shy of her driver's license, there's been a lot of chauffeuring or, rather, being chauffeured. Then labor day, a day off and a weekend of 14th-birthday celebrations for the youngest. Summer retreated with a bang. It was a great season initiated by an incredible family trip to Europe.

So slinking off to school and work routines is not, exactly, exciting. Yet necessary.

I crave more-focused work, balance and rhythm. The busyness has caused me to let go of a regular spiritual practice, even weekly worship twice, and my daily gym visits. It's like skipping medication.  For one day, I'd like to just wake up to the day and head onward, no swim, sinus care, supplement taking or gluten-free lunch packing. Just once. And not have to experience repercussions.

Yes, I know that I am whining. Tuesday, I, dutifully, headed to the gym by 6:45 am, swam less than the usual mile (I must build up again), blended and slurped down my spinach-blueberry-and-brown-rice smoothie, dropped my oldest off at 9 am, returned to take my supplements, pack my lunch and get to the studio. Once there, my first action was to light a candle, welcoming Spirit's light, and pull out my daily devotional. The bookmark was still on August 21.

The passage was about beginning the spiritual journey with a reminder that we humans center the universe on ourselves. We can't help it. The shattering of illusions, Father Thomas Keating writes, is the beginning of the journey. The real spiritual journey and the way to nowhere.

The way to nowhere. I can identify with that.

Who likes to admit they haven't the faintest idea where they are headed? Practically no one. It's not practiced in this culture. Everyone knows exactly where they are going: to work, careers, up the rungs of  the social and corporate ladders, and, even Heaven. We are so sure of it. Otherwise, what are we left with? Feeling out of control?

Societally, we are launched on an upward path. I left that long ago and never really understood it until spiritual teacher Richard Rohr wrote that the spiritual path is one of descent ... into the messiness of life and brokenness. THAT I could identify with – over and over again like a skipping record.

With a new awareness, I have begun to notice something pretty radical. When I am slumming in the sludge of life, guess who is always with me? God. I don't especially remember feeling her presence when I traipsed up and down the steps of my corporate job years ago. As I traveled, marketed, plotted and planned I felt, well, hollow. Like I was just pretending. It seemed as if we all were. The lemmings marching in sober-faced, stiff and Zombie-like (perhaps mirroring our product, caskets) each morning and flowing out each evening, together at the same time. Like them, I was probably asleep.

I have since awakened and know Spirit's presence in the depths of darkness, on the average day and the heights of contentment. She is with me when I am alone, when I worship with others, when I struggle with others. I know her most intimately through Jesus and his universal Christ energy.

I know it best when I keep a daily practice that opens me to that energy and love as I journey to nowhere.

• What role does routine play in my life?
• What happens when it's not in place?
• Where do I pencil in time with God?
• What difference does that make?
• When have I felt I was on a journey to nowhere?

beginning of the
week I am
chomping to get
organized and
feel in control

that holidays,
and new schedules
become assimilated
... quickly

bouncing from
one busyness
to the other

when I remember
to light the candle
and let Sprit in

Listen to this post:

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