So we can’t really stay in that circle, secure as it might be. Honestly, your Zorba and my Elektrik Bleu would chafe too much under an imposed discipline. As it is, there’s just not enough time or freedom to satisfy our creative endeavors or passions. Much less all the community service we require of ourselves.
Our dilemma is in wanting all the benefits of Old Order or monastic communion, with few of its restrictions. (Never mind our own relentless self-discipline.)
Now, in our own households, with our gardens and mates and children, we live decades later.
The landscape really is a maze, after all.
Oh, vicar! Said the clerk, kayaking with the physician, too.
Actually, I wonder.
When I lived in the ashram, we heard stories of Americans who’d gone to India and found it impossible to return to the U.S.A., in large part because of the secular emphasis here, rather than the God-intoxication there.
It’s equally difficult to be left hanging in transition, as I feel I am these days.
But we need to be faithful in resting in the Lord “centering” in the Lord, as we might translate much of Hebrews rather than leaning on others to do the spiritual warfare for us.
My Bible opened on 1 Corinthians 3 and 4 in Meeting First-day last, and I was struck by the way Paul emphasizes our role in being co-laborers with God, rather than trying to do it all ourselves or expecting Him to do it all for us.
(It was not the passage I was trying to locate!) When I came to the passage, “Already you have all you want!” my mind instantly began its litany of desires: book publication, family, home, recognition, close circle of friends, and so on.
Then, when I had centered again, the passage re-translated itself as “you already have everything you need,” which is all the more intriguing now that I’ve looked up other translations of the same passage (1 Corinthians 4:8) – there’s a big difference between desires and needs, and between being filled with food or enriched and being hungry or impoverished. We can do much more when we’re fed or have the riches to invest than when we’re starving and beggarly.
The hidden, spiritual turns that happen in the life of the faithful often amaze us, and yet they seem so natural.
Thee speaks of the ways the doors to Plainness have opened to thee, even when thee thought them closed, and I could speak of the ways I was drawn back to family roots I had been totally ignorant existed in the Quaker, Brethren, and Mennonite origins of the Hodgsons and Ehrstines, all the way back.
It’s no accident.
For more Seasons of the Spirit, click here.