Notes from Manresa, prt. 11
Sunday, 10:46 a.m. I found in my prayer time that I could not contain the fear over what will happen when I return home. Certainly I will go to the ones I love most, but I will also return to schedules, demands, home repairs, auto repairs, financial issues, clients and congregants with problems, computer temptations (I never miss email/Internet/Facebook when I am away but struggle with it when I’m around computers) and the often mind-numbingly dull, yet essential, routines of life. Yesterday Fr. Tom urged me away from attending to these concerns and in my prayers of the afternoon and evening I was obedient. But the concerns pressed in so hard upon me this morning that I could not ignore them, especially as God already knew my fears anyway. And so I poured out my fear and in doing so I realized that really this is the primary fear of my life – that I will not be able to find god in the everyday chaos of living. (One has to be in willful rejection not to find God in this place. There’s barely any looking involved, it seems, once one stops twitching in the silence.)
I made a solemn oath that I will make no solemn oaths in this regard. I will not do what I would have done in the past – make a game plan, a schedule, figure out exactly how I’m going to do everything when I get back. That would only come from my old notions that really I must be the one in charge here. I must hold dearly to God, because he is slippery, trying to get away, and surely not holding dearly to me. I no longer believe that. Well, perhaps I do, but I think that belief is wrong, and I am no longer going to live and act as if it is true.
My version of a section of Romans 8:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Or work, or busyness, or temptations, or fears, or lack of discipline, or laziness, or wrong doctrine, or bad choices, or anything else?)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (and loves us still).
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels (with the security they provide), nor demons (with the fear they bring); neither the present (with its dull demands), nor the future (with its uncertain terrors), nor any powers (including my own); neither height (being “on fire” for God) nor depth (my depressions and dark places), nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.