theJourney- I’ve had quite a dry season for the last five plus years. I’ve had many dry seasons in this life. I’ve felt invisible at times. During these times I’ve often feared there would be no end to the paralysis of my indecision. Lack of options and numerous obstacles caused me to wonder if there was purpose for the drought? In my experience you never know until it rains.
Intimacy with God grows like a private oasis in a public desert. Believe it or not it is easier and more destructive to isolate and to wander in the desert when you are a public figure. You learn to allow others to maintain to their image of you without having to create a fortress. Your fortress of protection is their image of you. It takes no effort. Just let them talk about the days when you were in your glory and make no reference to the present. Allow them to rebuild your pedestal. But when you are confronted with the weariness of your meager existence, like Job, sometimes others question your judgment. They may wonder what you did wrong to deserve the fall and even some disappear, for fear that your calamity is contagious.
To those who have been there we share a camaraderie called the fellowship of the disordered identity. To those who are still there here’s some advice. Travel lightly. Allow God to transform you in the wilderness. When it rains, and it will, the blessing will be equivalent to the surrender. The Joy will be commensurate with your gratitude. Your vision will be formed when there are no guarantees; Promises only remove the need for trust, faith and utter reliance on the God who knows the truth, when you don’t. It will rain. Then like eagles, you will not be tossed by storms again. You will fly into them, spread your wings and glide upward from its force and the new elevation will bring new perspective. There is another way however and that is to return to ways of the past. Hang on to the self-created persona. Pick yourself up from your bootstraps and wait until self-reliance can return you too the numbing twenty-four cycle of the mundane. Don’t worry you’ll be ok until the next drought. God won’t rescue you from your illusions. Settling for the same ole same ole gathers much human consolation. It is the way most common to man. One piece of advice you’ll need if you choose this most travelled road. Don’t forget your mask.
The second half of this song is magnificent. In my soul I hear a transition from looking for others to be my magic to the magic in me, in creation and in the God who has his being.
I didn’t exactly see it coming. But when my body began to respond in discomfort and my mind was responding to my heart with fear and paranoia, I became aware of this place in my journey. I was in a tunnel. I still am in this tunnel. It’s not as though I can wish it away or even pray it away. Much like medications that relieve only the symptoms, we choose to wrestle, worry or flee from our dark moments, yet there are no options for an actual premature exit. It is a tunnel. When we don’t see how we entered we become shocked by the seemingly sudden dark moment we are in. Alone, cold and fearful we become emotionally paralyzed. We wonder what happened. We think we ought not be where we are.
Tunnels are not a destination. Though they are temporary dark places there is an eventual exit. It is a passage. A link between the here and now and what shall be. To the naked weariness of the soul it feels and looks like doom. To the spiritually aware it can become the passage through a mountainous transition. Though dark it is a shortened and smoother trip then the treacherous mountains we’ve been through before. We know how to prepare and cope for these long hikes. The paths are worn having repeated the same journey no matter how risky. This is different. It is only a tunnel. It is disconcerting and even frightful simply because it is different.
This morning I awoke and resisted the temptation to shrink into one of the three (wrestle, worry or flee) as I had the last few days. I made some peppermint tea. I sank into its warmth and refreshment and was tempted to think of what may or not come in my day. Either go back to bed or turn on the TV were my thoughts. Instead I put on my tennis shoes, tapped the Pandora app and began to walk in the coolness of the morning.
I felt a smile come to my face surprised by the last radio station I had played. I put my headphones on and put my iphone in my pocket. A most glorious version of a Sting song from the Symphonicities album began. My breathing became fuller as though I wanted the music in my lungs. Then the melodic melody waltzed with the outdoors around me. (I just walked by the way) I began to see without needing answers. The third eye they call it. Not just beholding beauty and not simply analyzing its origin, but gazing into the wonder of all that is in and around me. Sensing, knowing and understanding without an anxious aim to get relief from the present. Feelings became irrelevant to the truth of the Presence in the tunnel. It is temporary but necessary. Might as well enjoy the music.
So here’s what I heard. The she in this song is God to me this morning. It is the wonder of God that dazzles me. In my human state I hear this song and the romantic in me mourns. The loneliness and disappointments of lost love. In my physical state I feel aches and pains. But it is the awareness of God’s magic that enables me to see the wonder of it all.
Listening I see the magic. And the magic is not in a person or a thing it is in me just as the fear is not in the tunnel it is in me. I can choose to fear and mourn or gaze into the wonder of it all and experience the magic.