Here is a post from Richard Rohr. His writings have been teaching me a lot, of late. Not your typical friar, he. Unexpected, perhaps. I am, too, I think.
The original is here.
I am seeking to move more deeply into my Sacred Dance.
LIVING A WHOLE LIFE
Bill Plotkin speaks of the first half of life as doing our “survival dance.” The second half of life can then become our “sacred dance.” Most of us never get beyond our survival dance to ask the deep concerns of the soul (we are too busy “saving” our souls, whatever that means!) to do our sacred dance. Money, status symbols, group identity, and security are of limited value, but to the soul they are a distraction, and finally they become the very problem itself.
However, don’t misunderstand me—and I say this as strongly as I can—you’ve got to go through this first half of life and its concerns. Every level of growth builds on the previous ones. The principle is this: transcendence means including the previous stages. Then you can see the limited—but real—value of the early stages. But you will no longer put too much energy into just looking good, making money, feeling secure at all costs, and making sure you are right and others are wrong. That’s what it means to grow up, and Christians need to grow up just like everybody else.
Next Friday, 3 February, I fly to South Africa. For six weeks. I can't believe that. Amazing. Not much touring around or such as that.
Time spent being quiet, being still, just being. At least that's the very minimal plan so far in place.
Tonight, after a very long day, and some very tough news, I've been a bit whiny.
Grateful, I am. Very grateful.
Of course, I'd also like to tell you about the incredibly sexy, hunky roofer I was watching, while I ate lunch. As I walked out of the eating place, he spoke to me. Ooooh. Had he been watching my watching? We chatted. that's all. But I had to adjust my britches a bit.
You might not think it like me, and if you knew me well, you might really wonder about such. But it's true. Yes. I am.
I am going on Sabbatical for the months of February and March 2012. The thing that may seem odd is indeed odd. At least it feels so to me. Who would ever have thought that I would do such a thing? Such a thing as this, I mean. It's not what you'd expect if you knew me.
But then, if you really know me, maybe it isn't so odd. In all these years, I wouldn't have thought myself capable of such.
In early February, I fly to South Africa for six weeks in a monastery. See, I told you it was odd. I'm not planning on becoming a monk. (Goodness! What a thought.) It's a monastery connected with the religious non-profit where I serve. It's not a cloistered order, so I won't be "locked up" or anything. I will do some service, some prayer, a bit of contemplation, and rest.
I know what you're thinking. "Why does this guy get a sabbatical and I don't?" Well, it's complicated, I suppose. But this line of work can be taxing in ways that no other line of work can be. Not many, anyway. And, I don't get to go to conferences in luxurious places or even business travel. And, I work just about every f&%$~"g weekend and holiday. Plus some other odd hours. It isn't about the time spent in work as much as the intensity and nature of it. It requires not much physical labor, but an inordinate amount of emotional labor.
Happy New Year.
Moving in to the new year with much on my plate, I keep waiting for the "semester break." That's the time when all the tests are done, papers handed in, etc., and so forth. It's all done. And you can just relax. (Of course, my last semester break was precisely 30 years ago in my last year of graduate school.)
Then something new starts. From the beginning. Not so life. It keeps going and thing don't just "end." They just get extended or put-off, or they just keep going. Why have I not caught on to this pattern?
Anyway, the journey continues.
Here's wishing all blessings, new discoveries, liveliness, goodness, gratitude, and joy in the big '12!