Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Beauty Of Mystery


I think it is in our human mind to want to create order, meaning, and definition. We are uncomfortable with feelings like doubt. We struggle with ambiguity and mystery. All too often, we want to rush in and give God a box so we can settle back in and feel comfortable again. We want to say, ahh, there is the path, when it's not yet clear, because to know is so much easier than to not know.

When you are going through chaos in life, when the emotions are rocky or the situation is difficult, people are quick to want to give you a handle, some kind of meaning or definition. Maybe it's one that has worked for them, and for that, we are grateful. But I love when I read something that confirms to me that this unknown, this mystery, can be a beautiful place too. This morning, during my quiet time, I read a passage by Thomas Merton (from A Year With Thomas Merton):

Light rain all night. The need to keep working at meditation-- going to the root. Mere passivity won't do at this point. But activism won't do either. A time of wordless deepening, to grasp the inner reality of my nothingness in Him Who Is. Talking about it in these terms seems absurd. Seems to have nothing to do with concrete reality that is to be grasped. My prayer is peace and struggle in silence, to be aware and true, beyond myself, and to go outside the door of myself, not because I will it, but because I am called and must respond. 

So rather than feel I must fix this awkward place I am in, or align the emotions so I can feel safe in my spirituality, I am still content to breathe and listen this week, letting go of my will of what I think I should be.

Maybe more than any other focus I have examined for Lent, this one feels the most important.

13 comments:

  1. Wow! So much of what you say describes what I'm going through! This post has given me much to think about. What I'll remember the most is what you say that we should let go of what we think should be. Amazing words. Thanks so much, you have given me a light in this process of change and uncertainty.

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    1. Georgina, I'm so glad. Boy did this come from my heart and own processing-- so we're in this together. The one benefit I have found to growing older, is I am embracing the mystery more and struggling less with trying to define everything-- it's a slow process for me and means unlearning a few things along the way. :)

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  2. I've heard wonderful things about meditation. I'm glad that it helps you, and gives you the strength to inspire others. Take care of yourself, Julie.

    Julie

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    1. I'm not very good at meditating .. my ticker-tape brain keeps me buzzing .

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  3. I love it, Julie --- the sweet, abiding presence of God and the wonderful surprises He has for His children are simply beyond measure. Have a blessedly bountiful and bountifully blessed day.

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    1. And allowing for that to unfold in the unknown is perhaps the essence of faith. You too, Mary Ann.

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  4. There is so much truth in that last paragraph: So rather than feel I must fix this... Having lived a long life and finally reached a rather quiet, peaceful, place I have come to see that letting go is so very important in life.

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    1. Yes, exactly that, Inger. There are some benefits to aging! Thank you for your comment.

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  5. Loved the quote. The mindfulness classes (stress-reduction) are keeping me grounded with meditative exercises. Notice something...acknowledge it...let it go...breathe.

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    1. I love Thomas Merton's writing, Mike. Amazing thoughts from that man. I'm so glad the classes are helping you with focus and peace. :)

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  6. "I am called and must respond." That was beautiful, Julie. :)

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  7. Hi Julie I'm so glad to be reading this at the end of a busy week. Thanks!

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