The Searcher

I am a pain in the ass. I know this to be true. I have always been the questioner which is weird because in many ways I’m a rule follower, I guess until the rule no longer fits. When folks say to turn left, I naturally wonder what’s down the road in the other direction and  I have never really had that fear of getting lost. I’ve traveled my way through rough spots with some kind of crazy, naive concept that since I like everybody, that everyone should like me and therefore I won’t be harmed. So far it’s worked out pretty good, but I’m not sure it was always the smartest choice.

I have a long time friend, who is a wonderful deep Christian thinker. He’s always called me a “Searcher”. Years ago that bugged me. I didn’t like the term because I took it to mean I was lost, and lost for me at that time and in that way wasn’t a good thing. Everyone in my culture seemed so sure of their answers in life and I was never that way. I always saw each answer from a slightly different angle as I grew and participated in more life experiences. I think I’ve also had either the knack or the flaw, of seeing a truth in the other side of every story.  I guess in the back of my mind, I intrinsically thought God knew I wasn’t suppose to have all the answers, and that the journey of seeking was really more important than being right. Seeking to connect to that Mystery was where the real sweet spot was.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve made some turns that I never thought I’d recover from and I have like many of us, had friends that didn’t make it back from the turn that was just for the experience. I’m not as reckless as I once was, but that spirit of searching and not being static in my perspectives is alive and well, and I enjoy those fruits as well as nurse the aches that come from it. And more than grasping and clutching, I hope I’m gently cupping my hands to hold those sweet waters that renew my soul and remind me that love comes first.

So searcher?, Yes, I suppose that fits me. As I’m on the “Falling Upward” side of life as Richard Rohr describes it, I begin to embrace that term a little more; I begin to sit a little more peacefully in the gray shades of my life where a faith doesn’t demand all the answers and where there’s a deeper sense of trust, that it’s all gonna be ok .

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Reading List: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t be writing this post as I’m only half way through Richard Rohr’s new book “Falling Upward”, but that’s just how good it is ! Rohr doesn’t miss much and his books and teachings should be a part of anyone’s life and spiritual survival gear.

As the subtitle “A spirituality for the two halves of life” suggests, it is a beautiful window for those of us embarking on the second half. But I like the line in the forward, “People at any age must know about the whole arc of their life and where it is tending and leading”. It makes me think of us parents trying to teach our children that they way they think now, and choices they make now, will affect them later on. That all of your life is connected.

I love his quote from Desmond Tutu who said “We are only the light bulbs, Richard, and our job is just to remain screwed in”. To me that says to be present as much as we can in our lives. To see the beauty in everything. To find God in everything. To remain open and aware that nobody has all the answers.

Here is another moving quote “Transformation is often more about unlearning than learning, which is why the religious traditions call it “conversion” or “repentance”. For me the unlearning goes hand in hand with letting go of all my junk. Letting go of my prejudice , my small inclusive thinking, and that my culture holds all the answers.

Rohr always challenges me to expand and let the love of God do the work. His words always ring true in my heart, perhaps my best barometer. Let me know what you think.