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Because (Mysticism and Math)

Because (Mysticism and Math)

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash
Because my husband and I reached a moment of clarity when his truck, again, needed extensive repairs we couldn't afford.  "Something needs to change,” we said, together, and the words set like concrete, solid and steady beneath our feet.
   
Because, the job opening was posted online within a day or two of our decision.
Because, it had been six months or more since I looked for any kind of job and this kind of job only appears once in a blue moon.  What are the chances we would reach this decision, that I would start looking for a job, the day after my dream job was posted?  
Because, my references all said, "Yes, of course, we think you'd be great."
Because, the timing is perfect, with the kids ready steady in a new school year.  
Because I want it to be so.  
Because, because.  
//  
I ticked these signs off one by one in my Spiritual Director's office, laying them out like bread crumbs I've gathered amidst the wilderness of my life, crumbs I hope might form a trail.
“I want these things to add up,” I said.  “I want them to mean I will get this job.  But I know, it’s one thing to know what is – to be aware – and a much more difficult thing to know what it means.”
Here, she nodded, knowingly.
“I want to be able to say these signs mean God is doing this," I continued, "but I know God too well by now to place God in that kind of box."  "I’m not sure where God is in this,” I concluded.  
“It seems to me,” she said, “that you’re being invited into a more mystical way of being.  Invited to dwell, not in the meaning of things, but in what you know to be true in each moment.”  
//  
In high school, I always did my math homework first.  For the most part, for me, it was easy.  More importantly, though, it was solid, clear, concrete.  There was only one answer and when you found it and checked it, you were done.  
Writing homework, though, was another beast.  Writing an essay is so open-ended.  There are so many words to choose from, so many ways to shape a sentence, a paragraph, a thought.  There is no clear ending; there are many was to frame a correct answer, so many ways to sculpt ideas across a page.  I never finished my writing assignments until just before they were due.
//  
Mysticism is not math.  It is the homework I have saved for last.  
//  
I immediately recognized the truth in my Spiritual Director’s words and, inwardly, I sighed.  Giving up my clumsy attempts to discern the meaning of things felt like a loss – a loss of knowing, to be exact.
What do we have if we can't add events of our lives up one after the other, if we cannot trace a simple path through the woods of where we are to where we think we want to be?   We are left only with the present in all of its fullness and fragility.  
I told my director this, how I value the easy math of knowing, nailing down, what God is or is not doing.  How letting it go feels like a loss.  But, I realized even as I spoke, that by letting go of what is not, we enter, more fully, into what is.  We are free to stop hoarding and trying to find our path via the breadcrumbs of our lives.  Free to enjoy each crumb as the much-needed manna it is.  
What do we have if we only live in the present?  
We have nothing.  We have everything.  
We have God.  
 
 
Sparrows

Sparrows

My wife tells me that I shouldn’t read the news because the news makes me sad. Or angry. Or confused or helpless or despairing or apathetic or cynical. Or some toxic combination of all of the above. She’s probably right. She’s right about a lot of things.  […]
Title IX, Due Process, Standards of Proof, and… What was the question again? (Education is Power, part II)

Title IX, Due Process, Standards of Proof, and… What was the question again? (Education is Power, part II)

Education is power. Here’s part two of Into Account’s blog series that interprets the Title IX confusion brewing across the country and offers information that helps us know how to support each other and other sexualized violence in the midst of it. *The original post can be found on Into Account’s blog, here. Part 1 can be found on Into Account here and was crossposted on Our Stories Untold last week. Part 3 coming soon!   There’s one question I hear again and again when I’m talking to people about Title IX and sexual violence: Why are schools involved in this at all? Sexual assault is a crime, so why not leave it solely in the hands of the police? I never know how to respond to that specific question without launching into the much broader question that is at the heart of my answer. Which is the following: Who do you believe deserves to get an education? And what do you believe that we, as a society, should be doing to make that happen? So in service to my larger question, here’s the short version of an answer to my opening one: The purpose of Title IX is to ensure equal […] The post Title IX, Due Process, Standards of Proof, and… What was the question again? (Education is Power, part II) appeared first on Our Stories Untold.
The Next Stage, Part II

The Next Stage, Part II

No, beloved reader, I did not forget to post something for this day. As I said yesterday and have been saying for a while, we are in the transition point. All of the blogs since January 2015 are on the new site, Pondering From the Pacific . Starting with the October posts, I am posting only on that site. Sometime near the end of November / at the start of Advent I will no longer be posting here. It will remain as it is now, a repository of everything that has been written since this blog started back in 2007. I had thought about posting what I wrote up until the end of the current lectionary year, but I thought that might be just as confusing as if I simply went quiet here at an earlier date. And, I am not going “quiet” – not by any means! If you have enjoyed what has been written here in the past, and you like reading comments on the Revised Common Lectionary, please make the move over the Pondering From the Pacific . If not, it has been an honor to have been part of your faith life! Shalom! […]
Pointing the Way

Pointing the Way

Even though I am no longer posting from this site, I still check in on it occasionally. And I cannot help but notice every once in a while the readership for one or two days goes up for people searching the home page and archives. I am pleased that this site still have value to people. But I want to also remind those of you who come here where the “new” stuff is. I am now posting at Pondering From the Pacific […]

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