"...Some folks try astrology,
some turn to crystal balls...
To find an answer,
to get through it all.
I just fall on my knees
and I try to pray, and
and in the silence I can hear Him say,
'The river runs, and the river hides,
out to the ocean, and under the sky.
I promise you, the answer will come.
Hold on to patience, and watch for the sign,
...Everything in its time..."
- Corinne May
Sometimes I get so impatient with God. I want to know when...and how, and what, and who. I find myself asking, "When will you tell me what you want from me? When will I know, what I need to know next? Where should I be and what will I do there?"
This Corinne May song, "Everything in Its Time," is such a great reminder. It assures me that I can surrender my timetable, and trust His omniscient plan.
This trust, in God's itinerary, must have been at the core of one 12-year old boy's willingness to walk away from his "Father's business," when his mother interrupted his trajectory, and asked him to continue walking his journey with her for a while longer. (Luke 2: 40 - 52) It must have been hard for him, to set aside his own sense of purpose. But it was this overarching spiritual purpose, and his willingness to surrender, that his mother "held in her heart," while he matured into the fullness of His Father's promise.
And it didn't happen over Spring Break, that "while longer" lasted another eighteen years. Eighteen years of trusting that the conversation, which he began in the temple with rabbis and doctors, would resume "in its time."
I have been thinking about this...a lot...lately, the surrender of mortal timetables, for the acceptance of an unseen, but certain, promise of divine unfoldment. It is a spiritual posture that requires a willingness to truly trust in the eternality of Life. It requires a grasp of the fact that we are never, ever, simply poised on a random point along a narrow, limited mortal timeline, but we are always traveling along an infinite spiritual vector.
A "vector," as I learned from Mark, the nurse I met in a mountain clinic one Sunday morning, is a "line" that has a well-established starting point, and clearly defined direction, but no destination. A vector continues on infinitely in this unalterable direction...sometimes intersecting with other vectors -- creating points of significance along the way...but never reaching a final destination.
I like thinking of a river in this way. It starts from the mountaintop and flows towards the sea. It doesn't stop when it reaches a lake, a boulder, a mountain...it may eddy for a while...but eventually, it just continues its flow towards the sea.
These points of intersection and significance may often seem like destinations reached, challenges faced, relationships beginning/ending, or tasks accomplished, but they are really only...ever...moments of profound God-based self-discovery, opportunities for lessons in grace, orchestrated rests filled with deep listening, and instances of salvation -- divine "ahas," in which we realize that we are never alone, without purpose, or recourse.
I am gently yielding to this version of living, in which I am simply an eager student along a God-drawn spiritual vector. I love having a clearly defined starting point for every relationship, activity, and desire. There is real peace in letting go of destinations and outcomes, while staying completely focused on retracing and starting out, each moment as needed, from my one "true north"...God. It is a divine discipline to constantly be recalibrating my steps according to my true direction...the "hows" of my life...kindness, honesty, integrity, trust, respect, meekness, patience, compassion.
Remarkably, Mary Baker Eddy has given me the clearest, and most profoundly useful, and unfailing instruction for this new approach to spiritual orienteering in her statement:
"The starting point of divine Science is that God, Spirit,
is All-in-all, and there is no other might nor Mind."
This starting point, together with the well-defined MORAL. compass she outlines on page 115 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:
MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.
have been critical as I've struck out on this journey towards infinitely greater spiritual trust and discovery-based self-awareness that is rooted in my understanding of God.
One of the questions I have been asking myself, as it relates to direction, is, "what is it that tells me when I am, truly, on the right path?" And one of the answers that revealed itself in prayer, and which feels most authentic, comes from a much-referred to (on this blog) Sara Groves' song titled, "Add to the Beauty," in which she says,
"I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story.
I want to shine with the light
that's burning up inside me..."
That better, beautiful story, for me, is always going to be the one in which God is the only hero, and the light of His love illumines every narrative, every bit of dialogue, every inner landscape with self-knowledge, humility, love, and grace.
I know that, as long as I keep my starting point, and my moral compass, clearly in focus...I will never get lost in the quicksand of self. And that I will experience, "Everything In Its Time," because, on a vector, I have an eternity...infinity...to discover all that He has in store for me, and mine, and all...everything exactly as it should be...in its time.
more on spiritual vectors in future posts, but for now...with Love,
Kate Robertson, CS
[photo credit: Nathaniel Wilder 2010]