We are created with an inner drive and necessity, that sends all of looking for our true self, whether we know it or not. This journey is a spiral and never a straight-line. We are created with an inner restlessness and call that urges us on to the risks and promises of a second half to our life. There is a God-sized hole, in all of us, waiting to be filled. God creates the very dissatisfaction that only grace and finally divine love can satisfy. We dare not try to fill our souls and minds with numbing addictions, diversionary tactics or mindless distractions. The shape of evil is much more superficiality and blindness than the usual listed 'hot sins.' God hides and is found precisely in the depths of everything. Even, and maybe especially, in the deep fathoming of our fallings and failures. Sin is the stay on the surface of even holy things, like Bible, Sacrament or church. If we go to the depths of anything, we will begin to knock on something substantial, real and with a timeles quality to it. We will move from the starter kit of belief to an actual, inner, knowing.
- Richard Rohr in Falling Upward, published in 2011
I am a little more than halfway through Richard Rohr's book and it is quickly climbing up my list of all-time favorites. This quote particularly struck me, as I've been wrestling with the challenging truths that the Sundays teachings have revealed about time. When he talks about God hiding in the depths of things and that sin is what happens when we just stay on the surface, I realize that is precisely what happens when we pile on too many rocks. Busyness, even with good things, leads us away from the great things that the abundant life God offers has in store for us. In fact, Jesus said that when we find that abundant life we have found him (see John 14:6). But, we instead opt for the average or mundane, which is all we can fit in to our containers because we are otherwise...too busy.
I think going deeper is more about doing less than working harder. As if I needed an extra lesson for my own life about what happens when you pile on too much, the glass jar of my illustration broke in the first service on Sunday, at 8:30 AM in the Chapel. For those who missed it, it happened when I starting placing the small rocks on top. The extra force of the trivial, little opportunities was enough to break the container. I snapped a photo of it before I cleaned up the cart and prepared to try again at 9:00 and 11:00. Maybe the memory of that will stay with me in the moments I am tempted to pile on the trivial instead of first placing the God rock in properly.
I love serving as the pastor of this church and being a part of this community and am humbled that you join me in breaking glass, stacking rocks, and going deeper in the great love of God. Grace and peace to you, Scott