Presentation on theme: "Embarking on this journey of discernment, it is important to note that I was first met with a class focusing on the importance of practicing awareness."— Presentation transcript:
Embarking on this journey of discernment, it is important to note that I was first met with a class focusing on the importance of practicing awareness. Challenged to turn, again inward, it seemed appropriate work for establishing a starting point for discerning. I was reminded, again, to listen carefully. Discovering Palmer’s words redirected my listening to my own life, and what it might be saying now. To realize that my life has always been speaking, but now to listen closely, to what it has to say about what it must be. This has been monumental.
After reflecting on practices of this past semester, I sense that the most resistance has come from what is mentioned in my very first post. From the beginning, I found that I was “rusty” and that contemplative practice was essential, but vacant in my life. “The desire for” juxtaposed with “the lack of” created tension in me. As I have come to CST to embark on a period of discernment towards future ministry, I know how important spiritual richness and maturity in this work. What I have felt for some time is a spiritual deficiency in strength and passion. I had grown tired and needed to rest in something that would “recharge my batteries.” I needed to learn to sit again…
I also opened to the important role of, and need for, humility in my life. This seems to have appeared in front of me as the goal sought in developing deeper practice. I realize that I have journeyed far and long for this and feel that perhaps I have finally found a mirage transformed into an oasis. The image of Christ as the good shepherd is something I found early on as a symbol of this humility. Eyes cast downward, gently open, gazing lovingly upon the lamb. This has come to create a deep point of reference, suggesting a posture of humility that is needed.
Something that is life-giving, realized in the last small group session while giving my spiritual life story, was a shift in how I interpret my past. I have always considered my life a collection of disjointed happenings, missteps, and encounters. Although I have always sought to force meaning onto my life, to demand that it have purpose, I have never given much thought to the overall design. I have seen my life as a chaotic series of random events without much direction. I have followed whims, chased dreams, and grasped at chance. However, through these weekly practices, through small group sharing, individual conversations, and the sharing of my spiritual life story, I see fragments being woven into a single narrative! With this, I am invited to look more closely at this narrative, to find the deeper plot within, to listen as it tells its own story. In this way, I realize that for the first time, I am genuinely allowing my life to breath on its own, allowing it to live, to speak, to be what it was meant to be. For this I am grateful. I end this semester’s class with a full and thankful heart, knowing that I have discovered something authentic. I am invited to continue forward with this new insight, allowing it to lead me in a new direction.