Hi! It is Tuesday after the third Sunday of Lent.
I said I was going into the desert for Lent. If this is true, you should also know that a desert journey is a journey into unknown territory and you don’t know what will happen there.
Let’s face it. My spiritual journey has been focused for decades on the desire to know God. I have tried many ways and studied many things. But, finally, in my Lenten desert, I decided to drop the baggage. I’ve decided to know God directly. This decision flies in the face of all authorities. No authority thinks going it alone will work. They say I’ll just be an ego talking to itself, or a “sarabite” (ref Rule of Benedict) following my own rule, or a sinner, or I’ll just plain forget God and heaven all together.
Still, in the desert, you are forced to drop your support props. You can’t afford to carry them. I think that in my desert I encountered a cliff. In order to climb the cliff, I had to release all baggage. The biggest bag is the idea that finding God requires following someone else’s path. Now, I am walking on my own, no crutches. I am reduced to nothing; no theories, no scripture. At times I feel lost. I feel like collapsing into a little pile of crap and dying. Miraculously, it is the abject hopelessness, where I am on my knees, where I surrender. I just give up and say, “Ok God, I’m just going to sit here and wait for you to come or not. I don’t care.”
This morning, as I sat quietly, I remembered: I have the heart of an endurance athlete. It is this essence of heart to which I cling. The essence of heart is life. The essence of life is God. The endurance athlete doesn’t have to be a runner. Some paraplegics are endurance athletes. The essence of the endurance athlete is life.
I decided to go running in the early morning darkness. After about 15 minutes, being in a free form easy lope up a gradual incline along the bluffs, I realized that in losing everything except life alone, my desire for “God directly” is really a desire for pure being-ness. Running in the dark, easily striding, I remembered I am an enigma. Retuning to this state, I realize the state of pure being. I need nothing else.
Personal statistics: 28 days raw. 1 day of caffeine withdrawal. 12 days until the Olathe Marathon.