I've been thinking a bit this morning about the power of simple things to pull us back toward contentment - especially when the world crowds in and life can be oppressive and overwhelming.
Sometimes there are so many details pressing in that it's difficult to check our bearings and make sure we have our feet firmly planted on the ground. Cleaning, bills, children, work, commitments, projects, deadlines, responsibilities, obligations, people, committees, projects... it's a list that seldom backs down.
This morning, for example, I woke up feeling a little heavy. Not depressed so much as burdened, and it was difficult to shake. I tried talking to God but my prayers seemed to drop like lead balloons on the ground in front of me; messages launched into the spiritual cosmos, yet unable to escape the gravitational pull of my inward focus.
It turned out to be my long walk that lightened me. Not talking to God so much as stepping out into God's world with the possibility of the transcendent in mind. Connecting with the physical Earth can be a kind of listening, conversation deeper than my prattling - more meaningful, sometimes, than the noise my verbalized prayers create inside my head.
The trick of course is to ground the listening experience in an openness to actually hear, perceive, apprehend - so my mind and my spirit are both open and accessible. Sometimes we push God with our hurried need for peace; as if we can save a little time and get back to the insanity that so often hovers around the periphery and - in truth - commands too much of our allegiance.
So much of spiritual experience lives outside the confines of measurable time, yet I am very often anxious for resolution within seconds, or minutes at best. So this morning I learned a little more about kairos - God's time - the acceptable time - the right time... and I set aside my demand for peace in favor of my need for perspective.
My issue, it turns out, is not that of doubt, or overwhelming difficulty, or even distance from God. My issue is that of still trying to force God to occupy the particular space I have designed for God in terms of my convenience. My issue not a lack of belief so much as a lack of tenacity, of malleability, and of trust.
This is Derek, east of Tampa and an even longer way east of Eden - thinking out loud as we all make our way back to the Garden.