companions, Cynthia Bourgeault, deep meaning, differences, heart knowing, hunger, St. Barnabas, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, understanding, wisdom, Wisdom School
My thoughts right now are many. Rules for writing teach the importance of a strong thesis sentence (or paragraph, depending on the length of the entry) – something that will catch the attention of readers and give them reason to continue reading. During the time it took to unpack my computer and get settled to write I have had at least three possibilities of where to start that might actually take me (and hopefully some of you) somewhere worth the trip. Perhaps I should “cut to the chase” and begin at the desired conclusion which will, I hope, have something to do with diversity not necessarily being dangerous to unity. But, no. Allow me to meander for a moment…
- Today is the feast of St. Barnabas, seen as one of the most important “second generation” disciples who worked tirelessly for the spread of the gospel with St. Paul. Unfortunately, a difference of opinion on the way to proceed with their mission caused a serious split between them over the place in their company of John Mark, cousin to Barnabas and author of earliest canonical gospel. Eventually reconciled, this trio gives credence to the truth that even the best of friends can have differences – sometimes serious and painful ones.
- Each time I travel to Stonington, Maine I am glad to be a companion instead of the driver, at least for the last part of the trip. No road wider than two lanes gets us there and it seems that Route 15 disappears and re-emerges at will! It’s always good to follow the instructions of a GPS in order to get there or – perhaps even more important – to find the way home.
- In last week’s Wisdom School, Cynthia Bourgeault broached the topic of our “wisdom lineage” and linked it skillfully and profoundly with the history of Christianity. For me there was a recognition in that linkage of the responsibility to cherish and maintain our place in that long line of wisdom seekers. There were almost 100 participants in our group, some of whom I have known for a dozen years, some more recently but most only because we share in this community that exists because of our common search for a meaningful spiritual life. This link is deep and heartfelt.
So, here’s my conclusion. Regardless of distance or life situations, those who come to know a hunger for a way to deep meaning will find one another. It may take a long time on a twisting, turning path or just a short stint after a direct highway. It may mean digging deep in “heart knowing” to let go of preconceived notions about personalities and seeming divergences of understanding. We may come home from these blessed events wondering how we will ever live up to the consistent fidelity to the practices that form the container for the gift that is given every time we gather. All those things aside, the privilege of sharing time and space with such fine people is inestimable and can only be expressed in continuous gratitude.
May you find such companions in your life. (Clue: you must stay awake to know them when they walk by!)