Friday, October 13, 2006

Show me the way

Show me the path I might follow to be the person you created me to be.

Last weekend DearQuakerHusband's Quaker meeting observed its 200th birthday and we spent parts of both days celebrating. There was a lot of silence as well as plenty of talking, seeing old friends, reminiscing, feasting on two covered-dish lunches, etc. All the other churches in town were invited; few responded, but the priest from my new church came and ended up sitting next to me during silent worship the first day, an unexpected connection between old and new places in my life. This prayer jumped to life during that quiet, and it's been with me since.

FavoriteDaughter, the younger of my two children, just started her junior year in college. I remember thinking before she left for her freshman year that life would probably change for me once she departed, bringing an end to the daily, hands-on-mothering phase of my life, that her new beginning might be a new start for me, too. What I imagined was basically that I get more involved in the kinds of volunteer work I'd been doing all along.

If I thought my life might change a little, I could never have imagined all that has happened to me in the past two years. I have a new job, in an entirely different field, so it's really a whole new career, one that draws together my diverse interests and experience. Out of the job I have new friends. I also have the opportunity to audit college classes, which is a second chance for me as a student, since I must admit I was a rather distracted undergraduate. Even outside of class the university is a lively intellectual community where people are engaged in ideas and there's much to think about. I've also left the church I belonged to for 26 years, and now I have a new church, in a different denomination--a new Christian community to go forward with and within--so it's been an eventful time spiritually as well as intellectually.

So much is new and exciting, I'd really like to stop here for a while and enjoy this new landscape. And yet it doesn't feel finished yet. Something's telling me I can't stop now because there's still more to come. Where does it end--or does it? Do we ever experience enough of God, or learn enough, or feel we've finally found our place in the world, or does it just go on this way to the journey's conclusion?

Show me the path I might follow to be the person you created me to be.


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