Last Sunday, twenty of us gathered for our Contemplative Fire July Potluck. I had offered to share some of my sabbath leave adventures and was looking forward to a time to reconnect with folk. It was wonderful to be able to share some of my prayerful experiences. Many had joined me through my blogs, but this was deeper, and more personal. It was a chance to tell some stories, laugh together and be thankful to God for our shared contemplative experience. I’m grateful that many enjoyed it as much as I did.
Some of their questions were helpful to me:
“How have you changed, Anne?” I know I have been changed from this four-month experience. I’m quieter. I want a quieter life. I want to continue to live from that place of internal quietness. I’m not nearly as driven as I was before and I don’t intend to return that place of striving, accomplishing or achieving. It simply doesn’t appeal to me. What appeals to me is trusting God and leaning into the Spirit’s lead. Trust, Radical Trust.
“What was it like to return? Busy?” Yes, the world around me does feel busy. The city is busy and so is family life, but also the parish and Contemplative Fire are busier places than I’ve been in the last few months. One person noted that I return more vulnerable and she was right. I’m more tender inside, more open and feel the busyness in a different way now.
I am also more aware of the static around me. I experienced a simple clarity during the four months. Each moment, each day felt clear and focused. Back in the rapid flow I hear static. It’s harder to hear the gentle voice of the Spirit. I know God is still present, and the flow is still happening, but it is less clear to me. I need to trust more. I can imagine that the clarity of the four months was to strengthen me for the return and the season ahead. Life is all about trusting.
I’m sure many of you will take some vacation time this summer, some time when you step away from your usual pace. Might these questions help you too? How are you changed? What is it like to return? Let’s not live on auto-pilot, but fully alive, savoring each day.
Love and prayers
Contemplative Fire Community Leader Canada