In many ways I don’t like selfies as I look at them and see all the lines and wrinkles. But the lines and wrinkles are part of who I am, the life I’ve lived, the years that have passed. I chose this picture because it epitomizes for me one of those times when I feel most fully alive, walking by the sea. It is when walking by the sea that God in nature is most vocal to me.
Last weekend was the bag of books and hotel weekend. I want to share the opening paragraph of the first book I read as it is perhaps one of the most important concepts I know:
You have a place in this world. It is a place where awkwardness dissolves and you are most fully alive, therefore most fully human. You know this place very well, though you may feel far from it. Take a deep breath and hold it briefly. You know this place. You may not always know how to get to it, but you recognize it every time. Likely you first sensed its existence in early childhood. Over the subsequent course of your life, you may have stumbled into – and out of – this place of aliveness many times, especially during periods of significant upheaval or transition. These were brief moments of awakening when something way down inside suddenly lept to attention and cried, “Home!”
Sitting with a bag of books and reading and reading and reading feels like home to me. I have always loved books and ideas and concepts and that ability to get lost in a world for a while. Even though every book I read had a connection with my ministry it didn’t feel like work because it felt so privileged, precious and lifegiving. This feels like a blessed period of my life when I feel at home in my vocational choices. It has not always been so and I am aware that many I know still feel like they are in the dark wood of the title of the book I was reading.
Gifts of the Dark Wood Eric Elnes Nashville Abingdon Press 2015