Monday, May 21, 2007

Sickness And Health/Finding Your Way

Last week was a difficult week for me. I spent most of the week on a journey searching for my health. I still have not found all of it. Last Monday I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a sore throat. I came to work anyway but by late afternoon I was feeling poorly so I left. Tuesday I was down and out all day. Wednesday I attempted work again but late in the day I felt bad enough to head for the doctor. Thursday and Friday I had planned off in advance and was happy I did so. I did manage to squeeze in a previously planned trip to the monastery on Thursday. One of the monks made their solemn profession. Solemn Profession is when a monk promises to remain a monk for the rest of their life. By the time I got home I realized that I probably should not have gone at all. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I did virtually nothing but take it easy and rest. I am still not completely well and have never had such a difficult time getting back to "normal". Depending on how this day goes, I may head back to the doctor.

O God! What in your name do you expect from me? What is it you want? What is it that I should be doing if not what I am doing now? I think about these questions and more as I stumble down the spiritual path of my life. How do we know we are doing the right thing with our lives? How do we know if we are on the right path? Does the very fact that I feel like I am always stumbling down my path mean anything? Am I stumbling because its the wrong path or because it is the right path? Are the people and things that I sometimes consider obstacles in my life on my path through some divine intention? What about all the false starts and new beginnings? Are they indications of a confused or poorly planned journey? Am I a tourist, tour guide or an explorer on the spiritual journey? I do not think I am a tourist. If I am tour guide I should know the path well enough to lead others. If I am an explorer, I should be clearing a path for others to follow. If you are on a serious spiritual journey, I believe doubt is a healthy part of the spiritual journey. If you were certain of everything, you would not need faith. There is no map quest for the spiritual journey. There are no directions that say "Go 2.3 miles down this road and then turn left on another road for 4.7 miles until you see the light". Another thing that makes the spiritual journey challenging is that much of the time you are stumbling down an unknown path in the dark with blindfolds on. The best you can do is feel you way. Sometimes you will bump into things and lose all sense of direction. You can't read a compass in the dark when you are blindfolded. This doesn't sound like much fun, does it? What can you do? You can't stand still or you may always be lost and in the dark. All you can do is slowly move forward, inch by end, until you are out of the woods and in a clearing where you can see the sun and the stars. It is only then that you can know where you are, enabling you to see the road that will lead you where you should be. When you arrive you will know what to do.

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