“Forty days and forty nights, thou wast fasting in the wild . . .”
This song keeps playing in my head this morning. (The fact that my kindergartner sings it through the house probably contributes to the fact.) But a journey through the desert isn’t necessarily without reward. When the oasis is on the horizon, a renewed sense of hope and goodness floods throughout one’s body. We take nothing for granted. Every gift has with it a new appreciation. Sometimes just a trickle works, too, to sustain us until we reach the oasis, giving us enough — enough of whatever it is we need to make it.
Hopefully you, too, are among the fortunate to have a sense of what your purpose in life is. We know what our gifts are. We know how we might help others. Often before the call is realized, however, circumstances would have it that we have to be patient. We have to learn more, grow and wait. We have to live and love through good times and bad, and we have to wait. When a wisdom beyond ourselves knows that we are ripe for our call, circumstances pave the way for us to do what we are meant to do. But there is lots of waiting, exercises in patience and persistence.
In the desert this year, I didn’t realize I was seeking clarity of purpose, but while sitting in the quiet, focusing on mental clarity, a clear sense of purpose spoke to me. While the waiting might be dehydrating, testing one’s endurance, questioning that which is thought to be known, a moment’s clarity is that trickle of water in the desert, enough to sustain us for the rest of the journey.
Parker Palmer speaks of the soul as a wild animal that cannot be coaxed into the open by force. One has to be still, quiet, and open. Only in the silence and stillness can the animal feel safe enough to make itself known, seen and heard. If we are still and present enough, we can catch a glimpse of its beauty, its nature, its needs and desires. I would like to think that this is what I heard stirring in the stillness. Rather than my ego speaking, it was my Self declaring that “I am called.”
Knowing this within, I continue on my way, listening to circumstances, watching my path unfold not by force but as it should be. And I know that all is well. May all be well with you, too.