Usually the blogs just flow for me. I know there is a ‘something’ that’s caught my attention that I want to share. I began the blog with the intention of sharing my experience of the challenges I face in being a contemplative both with an active temperament and living in a busy world. I wanted to encourage others on the contemplative pathway as well as help myself think through the craziness of life.
Not always, but usually, they’ve been weekly notes. This week I feel stuck. Nothing is flowing. Instead I feel some static within me: there’s a bit of conflict within my parish life, there’s two sermons to prep and lack of clarity on one, and there’s decisions resulting from re-entering Contemplative Fire and discerning our way forward. Did I mention our dog who’s been barking at night? There’s static! Where is that Peace, the deep peace with a capital ‘P’! After four months of blissful consolation, I find myself on the hunt for God, feeling rather alone, and with lots of inner static.
I might call it confusion, annoyance, anxiety, or lack of sleep from our dog barking but I know the spiritual term of ‘desolation’, and I know the guidelines. When you hit a time of desolation:
- Don’t make any decisions. Keep on the set path.
- Tell God how I’m feeling and ask for help.
- Share with a wise friend.
- Be still and remember who I am.
- Go back to a point of consolation, reliving those memories.
- Help someone else.
- Repeat as necessary *
I began last night to re-read my Sabbath Leave notes. Big ‘YES’ in doing that! I continue to write the blog, recognizing two things. First, in the scriptures I’m pondering this week for my sermons, one deals with conflict in a faith community and teaches how to handle anxiety and worry, how to return to the peace that passes all understanding. The second scripture focus is around Jesus, one day caught in a busy place, and watching him change his mind. I know they are both speaking into my personal chaos and I also know from years of scripture teaching that I often need to live through the week’s message. I’m probably just doing that, one more time.
Second, getting stuck is very common. Maybe some of you feel stuck this week too. Maybe you, my thoughtful readers, are experiencing a bit of chaos or uncertainty in your life and some spiritual static.
So …. Let’s keep on the path we’ve set, take our static to God and ask for help, remember a time of consolation and reach out in kindness to another human being. We’ll make it through!
Love and prayers
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada
A Mystic in Motion
*adapted from Margaret Silf’s “Inner Compass”