When I was younger, I used to believe that God had a perfect plan for our lives. Our job was figure out what this plan was and get with the program.
I believed that there was one perfect spouse for each of us, one perfect career path, one place we were to live, one church we were to attend, one choice in every situation that was right. All other choices were wrong and disobedient. This put an awful lot of pressure on every decision to make sure it was the one perfect one.
It used to really frustrate me to think that God had laid out this perfect plan that I was supposed to follow, but that I wasn’t given a copy of the checklist for ever decision I faced so I’d know which one was right. It seemed so unfair. To top it off, I often heard it said that God would call you to whatever you were least suited (in skills and personality) to do, so if you were actually good at what you were doing or you enjoyed it, it was a sure sign that you were on the wrong path.
It was during a slow day at work late in the Spring when I found this book on my boss’s shelf. We shared an office at the time, and she had encouraged me to read her books when I had nothing else to do. (What can I say? I have a really awesome boss!) With my love for silence, the title, Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality, immediately caught my eye. When I realized that the author, J. Brent Bill, was a friend of hers and someone to whom she had once introduced me at a business meeting, I decided it looked like an interesting way to pass my time until she returned from an off-site meeting.
Interesting is not quite the right word this book. Absorbing might be a little closer. I don’t think I got another useful thing done that afternoon, and the first thing I did when she arrived in the office later that day was to ask for permission to take it home with me. I finished it the next day.
I grew up Christian—rather fundamentalist Southern Baptist, actually. While I’ve slowly migrated to the liberal and liturgical end of the spectrum—eventually being confirmed as an Episcopalian—Christianity has remained my root identity as a spiritual and religious person.
Even when I’ve not been active in church (which has been true now for much of the last seven or eight years now), I still think of myself as Episcopalian and as a Christian. Given my exploration of other traditions lately, especially shamanism, I have had the urge lately to revisit whether I am still in reality a Christian.
It’s once again time for Synchronicity Friday where I review the moments of synchronicity that I encountered during the last week.
I already covered my biggest rash of synchronicities in last Saturday’s post about Listening to my body. That was quite a number of resources that all came together at once on that topic for me. The day after I wrote that post, I found an email in my inbox from soul artist Laura Hollick entitled Your Body Story. Although her post was about a slightly different topic, I thought that title was a wonderful way to think of what I am trying to listen to.
I also encountered two more references that are relevant to my recent post about Embracing each emotion. Continue reading →
I’ve been meeting one-on-one lately with a shaman in our community to do some spiritual work regarding this time of personal transformation for me. During our last meeting, we talked about my need to find greater access to Spirit support—or at least a greater awareness of its presence. One of things we did was to identify a goddess who was making herself available to help me so I could focus on developing a relationship with her. I used a Goddess Oracle card deck to identify Durga as the goddess who is volunteering to assist me. It was very clear in reading about her why she would be an appropriate helper right now given the issues I am dealing with. Continue reading →