Dear friends, I’m feeling a little weepy today. This blog, which grew out of an inner compulsion to share my, well…inner compulsions with the world, is three years old today! It also came about through the encouragement of a number of close friends and colleagues, many whom are bloggers themselves (and I dare say considerably more accomplished than I), to “put it out there.” That is to say, if a writer I would be, then life with pants down is how I must live.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say to all of you, those who have signed on to follow this little venture, a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for your willing deliberations with my own willing deliberations. Thank you for receiving what I choose to give, some good, some not so much. Thank you for letting me into your computers, your living rooms, your hearts. Just…thank you.
Since this blog was always intended as a “one stop spiritual shop” for all things inner-Rob and hopefully, by extension, inner-you, I thought it fitting to celebrate this anniversary in a simple way; a way I so often find clarity in the chaos that is me: my journal entry from today, Friday, January 31st, 2014.
Once again, thank you.
From my journal: Friday, January 31, 2014
There is something at once alarming, even disconcerting, about the increasing awareness of God’s movements in the soul. Like becoming suddenly aware of the fact that one is treading water in a vast, shark-infested sea, we realize that we are in way over our heads. And the only hope of survival is that someone comes to save us before we are either drowned or ingested.
As we creep ever deeper into a new year, I am drawn to consider the fortuitous goodness of God. I look back over the past few years and see a number of explosions, all of which have led to a slow conversion attained through the gathering up and careful consideration of the resulting shrapnel. I’ve studied in detail my own wounds. They’re not pretty. But they yield fascinating evidence of God’s messing around.
Like fortune-teller tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, I begin to see patterns of grace previously unnoticed and so arranged as to point me to bigger ideas at play in the mind of God. “How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” I try to count them – they are more than the sand; I come to the end – I am still with you.” There’s the clincher I suppose. The community of God-as-God continues to invite me into that holy poker party even though I have little to offer the game.
Only now, in dusting off the rubble from numerous cage-fights between God and my ego, am I given clarity in some semblance of understanding. The movements of the human soul run so deep below the surface of things that, to unearth their seismic significance is to uncover the shining face of God, covered in coal dust, brow aglow in perspiration, from a tireless mining operation that had been taking place all along.
Prayer alerts me to the fact that God cares enough to dig at all. It merely points my head downward, ever downward, where God – like some Middle Earth dwarf – digs away, layer by painful layer. It creates a hunger in me to join God in the whole dirty enterprise. After all, sometimes diamonds come from that coal and gold is found when digging for something else.
But, only suffering and travail are strong enough to complete the journey from the center of the soul back to the surface. There, my mouth, my hands and feet, my life among the living, may be fueled by the ore of pain burning in the well-stoked furnace of love.
So be it.
Have I said thank you?