Blogging is a tricky business… it’s hard to decide what to say/how to say it/who is actually reading/will I offend?/will I give too much personal info? But since you’re like one of three people who are reading today, I’ve decided not to over-the-top worry about any of that.
As I told you a few days ago, I’m on a vision quest right now. I’ve had a lot of confusion in my head lately and crying out to the Great Spirit seemed like the perfect spiritual exercise for Lent. I just feel like I need some clarity in my life and some guidance about what direction I need to focus on. Everything has been so muddy and muddled inside me that I can hardly think straight. Here’s what I learned this morning…
I’ve been running full speed for almost 20 years now… specifically working in parish ministry. Being a wife/mother/full-time minister has created a life that has been… how can I say it… basically insane. Good insane, mind you… but I feel like I’ve run over 1000 marathons… about 1 every week. Now that I’m not working in a traditional go-to-the-office setting anymore, I have to tell you that I feel like a slacker. And then it hit me… I feel like I’ve entered The Work Desert… (insert Twilight Zone theme music here.)
What do I mean? Everything that has defined me in my work arena has been stripped away. I am trying to reinvent myself and my career in a completely different way walking through unknown territory. I don’t think I would have ever chosen this route on my own… which is probably why God had to knock me off my horse, point and thunderously shout in a deep booming voice: Go this way! There has been some significant pain involved in falling to the ground but I’m on the road to recovery.
So I’m reading the words of the desert mothers and fathers because intuitively I know they will speak to my situation today… I don’t know how… but I know.
Do you know how slowly life moves in the desert? “Say nothing unless it will improve upon the silence.”
“Bonum est praestolari cum silentio salutare Dei.” It is good to wait in silence for the salvation of God. Thomas Merton.
“The Desert: At first you think there’s nothing there, don’t you? And then there is too much.” National Geographic explorer describing the Antarctic desert.
My Work Desert is silent now… in the lull between tasks/waiting for decisions to be made/for textbooks to arrive/for meetings to begin… and after running so hard for so long, it feels weird. Today in prayer, three modern-day demons intrude… Noise, Speed and Accidie: that sudden overwhelming sense of despair and utter worthlessness. When I am not running full-throttle, these insidious beasts can kill my spirit in a heartbeat. The desert mystics fought them daily… that lends some comfort.
Now that I have called them by name, I will hopefully recognize these predators when they come again and figure out how to send them away.
Question of the day: What kills your spirit?