Monday, March 23, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
by Rev. Laura Fregin
Pastor, Church in the Cliff
Getting Unstuck - Changes on the Spiritual Path
Scripture Passage - John 7:53-8:11
Charlotte Kasl says that, the purpose of life is to be alive. Not to gather objects, achieve, accumulate successes, or forge your body to fit a mold. It's simply to be alive. To touch, feel, sense, hear, see and live in a dynamic flow of whatever arises at the moment; to accept the wild and crazy thoughts that go through your mind... your wisdom, the fears that arise and grip your chest, the laughter that brings tears, and the joy that takes you beyond yourself...
During this Lenten season at Church in the Cliff, we have been looking at the changes that we can make on our spiritual journey to help us live unstuck lives. We have talked about the importance of feeling our longing – of being aware of our unrest, unhappiness, and longing for something richer, more balanced, and meaningful.
And as a second step, we talked about how we might show up for life in a myriad of ways. With curiosity and fascination, to go beyond our prescribed life and explore the world beyond our usual ritual, beliefs, and habits -- and to add new energy to our lives, challenging us to meet life head on.
This past week we tired to pay attention - to go deeper into the experience of self-awareness on a moment-to-moment basis rather than once or twice a year. Paying attention asks us to notice when we are tense, afraid, hungry, tired, or in need of comfort -- to attune to what energizes and delights us, as opposed to what drains or feels lifeless to us. Paying attention is grounded deep within our bodies and often prompts us to ask, “Where is the flow of God's Spirit in all of this?”
I have often thought that the flow of God’s spirit is only occurring when I feel peaceful and serene, but a dear friend this winter suggested that often the flow of God’s Spirit is like what happens to a stream when the snow begins to melt in the mountains and the spring runoff begins. Sometimes, the flow of the Spirit is swift and wild as it runs over its banks and, it causes rocks to give way and mud and dirt and trash to be caught in the roaring flow. If you are standing in the middle of the stream when this happens often all you see is the chaos that ensues.
But even in that chaos and in the midst of the confusion that the chaos always brings – God’s spirit is still right in the center of that flow.
The Biblical narrative from John speaks about a woman who was quite literally stuck in a very dire situation [read about the process of stoning online] We don't know if she got to this place through her own decision or through the oppressive actions of another person. In any event, her life was in a chaotic mess, and the stakes were much higher than they are for most of us -- she was at the point of loosing her life. That scenario would certainly make you pay attention. Thankfully, in the midst of her chaos and confusion, she ended up before someone who could help her -- someone who could help her change the course of her life - someone who could truly help her to live.
In this Lenten season, remember that we are not alone; instead we travel this journey with a God who is always calling us to step into the flow of life –the flow of the Spirit.