Sun is up…water is calm…air has some Fall briskness to it and I’m watching the ferries emerge from around the point as their journeys are watched over by the Space Needle standing solitary in the distance. I don’t usually have this view, but I moved to the other side of the room this morning… Let’s be clear though, it wasn’t by choice…it was an adjustment. I’ve done well with it though I think, after some mindless cyber wandering, my mind is drifting back to center as Van Morrison is singing about wild nights on my Pandora channel. I remember those days… now my song of choice is “I ain’t as good as I once was”. Anyway, for a change I’m back here in Seattle and get to stay here for the foreseeable future. Guatemala a few weeks ago was life altering. Indiana last week was about all that you could expect out of it in the first week of November. Air travel, as is the case nowadays, was a treat. So as a result…
in regards to the Emerald City, I can truly say that “there’s no place like home”.
If I had things my way, I’d have probably never left this chair at Starbucks by the beach. You may not realize this from someone who has made some fairly life altering choices, and I do want to underline choices, but I am pretty much a boring, sedentary type of individual. I’ve decided that the attraction to Starbucks for me is certainly not the coffee. 90% of the coffee that I consume is not from Starbucks. The attraction is the comfort. I’ve noticed in recent months that they’ve adopted a new tagline . It reads “Take Comfort in Rituals”. That totally identifies me at the core of my being. Whenever I read it, I feel it resonating through my soul. My inner compass is always trying to get me back to center, and there’s no better way to accomplish that than in rituals.
This reality is what makes the trajectory of my life seem like such a contradiction. If people didn’t know me personally and just heard my story, they’d think of words like adventurer, risky, wanderer, unpredictable. Those who know me intimately though would rarely, if ever, use those words. Words like boring, steady, reliable, centered, might be more likely applied.
It is true that I have, we have, my wife and I, taken risks, followed paths, ventured into places that many in our path or life stage have not. So the question becomes, how do I resolve the inner me with the action me? How does a basically boring, scheduled, ritualized individual end up living and leading in a community o’ faith looking like he is taking in all that life has to offer. Two words… “Holy Spirit”. Now don’t take this the wrong way and think that I’m claiming an elevated level of spiritual whatever…I’m not. What I mean is simply that, for some reason, when the Holy Spirit whispers in my ear that maybe I ought to consider this or that, I have a tendency to naively say “Ok”.
Now if it had anything to do with an elevated spirituality, then I’d be able to tell you that from the point that I say “OK” until the end of the journey I simply plow forward with the confidence of St Patrick towards my obvious destiny. The reality is that from the point of “OK” until the end of the journey, I’m more like a 4 year old being dragged out of Toys R Us. Every move, every trip, every relief effort, every opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a place that I don’t blend in is this same type of exercise. And each encounter ends the same way…I see exactly what God saw in the moment he whispered to me.
The encouraging thing in all this is that if it can happen in my life…it can happen in the life of anyone who claims the same faith and the same God that I hold to. It’s not an immeasurable level of faith that gets you engaged in the life that God has designed for you. It’s simply having the ears to hear, and the naiveté to follow.