Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
Darkness, the place in life where you are skipping along a path knowing exactly where you are going and then…nothingness. Suddenly, you are not sure where to go next, which fork in the road to take, where the answers once so clear have gone? Sometimes it’s because of some life event, sometimes just a stumble along the way, for me, more times than not, just a loss of passion or feeling for the journey. A couple of months ago this is the dark place I found myself, I had been in a season of happiness, feeling in Gods will and plan when all of the sudden, it seemed, I was lost. I was at home this Sunday morning not really wanting to join in the community of faith, but also feeling guilty (those early childhood lessons hard to shake). As I laid in bed, still trying to justify my “bad behavior”… I stumbled upon Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, just the out I needed! This was just as good as going to worship! AND…she had an Episcopal Priest on that Sunday morning, double ok from Jesus! Barbara Brown Taylor was her guest for that Sunday morning show and she was talking about walking through the darkness. How apropos, here I was feeling left in the dark wondering where to go next, and for my entertainment Taylor and Winfrey were about to enlighten me on the subject. My thoughts on darkness up to this point had been that we must run…run to the light. Light is good. Dark is bad. Didn’t the scriptures say that he brings us out of the darkness and into the light? He is the light of the world, right? Buddhist are moving towards what?Enlightenment not darkness! Yet, Taylor has a completely different view of the dark times of life, she says take three deep breaths and see what you can learn. Hmmm…She talked about the light being harsh, the light can be blinding…if you have read by previous blog “Not Enough” you would understand I am a blinding light myself! So I understood the concept of too much, too much sun you get burnt, too much light can be harsh on your sensitive eyes. Taylor talkes about that life is not a train ride that you buy a ticket for a specific destination it is a boat ride, with storms and high winds, and since you cannot escape these ups and downs, why not embrace the storm? What a light bulb moment for me! The storms of life are coming, the down times will be here, we will all feel lost, or in the dark, not just once or twice but many times, so why not see what we can learn from those times? Why not expect these times, enjoy the darkness along with the light.
So I took a deep breath and instead of my normal “freak out” over why I wasn’t “feeling” just right or joyful– I just embraced it.
I know as we go into this new year we all have great expectations about all the wonderful things we will accomplish, but I would like to remind you that life is full of ups and down and there is as much to be learned in the darkness as in the light. Think of the night sky, it’s the beauty of the darkness that allows us to see the amazing stars!
May the Love of Christ be with you and shine through you this coming year even in the storms!
Check out Barbara Brown Taylor’s Book “Learning to Walk in the Dark“