Friday, February 12, 2021

"farther along and further in..."


"farther along and further in;
I think I'm finally listening,
to some kind of spirit murmuring;
I've never heard before...

Mary Chapin Carpenter's new CD, The Dirt and Stars, includes a song that I've loved every time I hear it.  "Farther Along and Further In" speaks to me in a very profound way. 

About 5 years ago, I struggled mightily with the gospel invitation to "cast your net on the right side."  I've written about this in another post, but I thought I'd revisit it today as a follow-up to how that single spiritual injunction has shifted my entire life and work. 

The story (from 5 years ago) goes like this -- the Cliffnotes version:  I was asked to give a talk about that scripture, but I just couldn't, in good faith, speak inspiringly about a citation that I felt forwarded a sense of reality that was filled with dualism.  

Right or left, right or wrong -- it just went against everything I had learned through the study and practice of Christian Science.  

As I drove the last quarter mile to where I was scheduled to give that talk, I turned to God with my whole heart.  "If you want me to give this talk, you will need to inspire me - now."  

With that God said to me, "what if casting your net on the right side, is not about right or left, but about inside..."  I got it immediately.  It is about casting your net deeper - in the kingdom within.  

Within 10 minutes I knew exactly what I needed to share.  But it wasn't just about giving a talk, it was about changing my life - my moment-by-moment responses to the call to decide, choose, respond.  But also my professional life.  To turn to the books that I love -- and that define my practice of spiritual healing -- not as the place where I will find Truth, but as encouragement for turning more deeply within for those answers of Truth.  

Since then, my life, my practice of Christian Science, my every response to the call to live with grace, is about turning within.  Entering the still space of the kingdom within.  This is where I find the "I am..." of the I AM.  This is where the Spirit dwells.  

Not in someone else's inspired writings or words, but in the only place where real revelation, reason, and the demonstration of Truth is cultivated and takes root. 

Does that mean that I don't read the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and the other writings of Mary Baker Eddy?  No.  I love reading how others - who were seeking a deeper and more centered relationship with God -navigated that same path.  But their writings, and the words of other inspired spiritual seekers, should be sending me deeper into the kingdom -- the only place i will find God - the I AM. Not drawing me out.   

17th Century Japanese poet and Zen master, Matsuo Basho, once wrote:

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise, seek what they sought."

I read their writings, not to follow in their path, but to find encouragement for staying true to my own path in seeking a deeper relationship with the Divine.  To know God myself.  My search is for God, not for a fellow searcher.  I love the company on the path - but the journey is mine alone.  

So, I go deeper.  I go further in -- and in going further in, I find I am farther along.

offered with Love,


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