Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
If you are Jewish or Christian you know the story of the ancestors of our faith wandering in the desert for 40 years, waiting to go into the promised land. After all they had been through; being slaves of Pharaoh, made to work night and day to build his palaces, begging for their release and then when finally let go to almost get caught at the Red Sea, by Pharaoh’s army, and yet here they were wandering…for…forty years, made to wait to enter the promised land that they wanted so badly.
I suppose one could look at this as an ancient story with not much to instruct a modern-day audience, but I would beg to differ. The reason this story in Exodus has remained so powerful in the lives of many believers, I believe, is because it is always a current story, it is a human condition we all face. If you have not yet faced your desert, then fear not it will come! If you have faced a desert and made it through, congratulations, and be ready, for another will come along. Most importantly, if you are in the depths of a desert this most assuredly is for you my brother or sister, rest assured you are not alone.
We find ourselves in this kind of desolate waste land when life just doesn’t go as planned, sometimes it’s because of our own bad decisions and sometimes it’s not. Our first inclination is to get out, to hurry up the process, let this dark time pass away as quickly as possible, do whatever it takes to make this sadness, grief, or anxiety disappear. I implore you to fight those feelings, seek a little patience, look around and see the darkness for what it can bring you and study upon those things. Why are you here? What can you learn? What does God or the universe have to teach you? What do you need to hear that you have not slowed down or been quiet enough to listen to? There is some reason for this time, a preparation time for what is to come, don’t miss out on the lesson.
The journey through the desert seems SO slow and the joyous times seem to go so fast, yet these times will pass and the lessons we have to learn in these times are much too precious to breeze past. When we rush through our difficulties we often miss the lessons we need, and find ourselves doomed to walk that same arduous path again, and again….
So here is your work, slow down and take inventory of how you got to this place, make time to meditate and pray daily, seek the lessons of this time, and know that this will not last forever. Most importantly take time for yourself, read, learn, seek good council, and know you are not alone.
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10