Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I wonder as I wander

That is one of my favorite songs of the Christmas season. 
   Here is the first verse: 
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus my Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

Today I spend time with the word "Wander" whose dictionary definition is: to walk or move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way.

As I continue to slowly read - (wander through?) The Soul of the Pilgrim I am spending time with the whole idea of "The Practice of Making the Way by Walking. " I have learned some new words:

Perigriatio - the call to wander for the love of God
Apavia - which means roadlessness - walking when you don't know where you are going.

What I realize is that wandering does not come easily to me in reality.  I like to have a destination, a plan and a schedule.  Even when I walk at Sharon Woods, I like the path that I usually walk because it is so clearly marked and feels safe. That is who I am. It is hard to trust the unknown and the new - the frontiers.

Christine Vaultner Paintner writes:
 Sometimes when I am working with someone in spiritual direction, I hear the longing from them to know the path God is calling them to, to have some certainty they are making the "right choice."
This way of thinking about God is limiting.  I have come to believe that God does not call us to one particular path that we scrutinize and discover.  God calls us to the fullness of living which can be manifested in a multitude of ways.  We have to listen closely for what is truly life-giving and there lies the struggle.  We resist trusting ourselves.  We tell ourselves stories about why we should stay stuck."

So, here I am facing myself and how hard it is to let go and allow God to do the leading instead of my own ideas of what I should be doing.  And to be honest - what I "should" be doing always lies in the direction of accomplishment - doing.  Instead of trusting, yielding, waiting - allowing God to be the potter and me be the clay.  All of this is kind of abstract, but that is the morning ruminations. I share one more reading from the book which says what I struggle with in a much more concrete way.
This is what it is like to yield:
  to finally feel that place of tightness - your left shoulder,
 the crick that has been in your neck for as long as you can
 the hard point between your eyes - soften,
 and all that is left is the
 overwhelming desire to dance,

 to stop resisting the endless and aching grief over a thousand
  small losses, and the one great loss of your own deepest dreams,

 to fall into that ocean of tears and 
 find yourself carried gently to shore,
 to feel the soft and trembling belly of your aliveness
 turn upward toward the wide sky
as a prayer of supplication
 and an act of revelation,
 to tumble down a mossy meadow
 blanketed with dandelions and clovers
 and the golden evening sunlight
 and know yourself at home,
to surrender the striving,
 the grasping at what seems so important
 in favor of what is
 essnetial and true

what would it mean to walk away from
all the "to do" lists
and commit to only one thing:
to be

what would it feel like to yield your
own stubborn willfulness
which has brought you so far in
this world of achievement
and allow the things you could never have
planned for, to unfold?

I must end this poem now,
not with wise words for you to carry away
and ponder, but only this:
a reminder of that fierce and endless longing
for what is soft and supple beating in your own
beautiful heart. 


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