It’s one of those things I do – saving some of my old papers and sermons and other writings that I somehow deem worthy of saving. Yes, I reread most of them again, occasionally changing my verdict and casting one aside. But there are some I reread and find myself once again deeply connected to the topic and the spirit.
While trying to bring some order to my office, and by implication – my life, I found one such paper.
I wrote it while taking a week-long intensive class titled “Spirit of the Sea.” (June 23-27, 1997) It was held out on Isle au Haut the summer prior to my last year in seminary; a time of transition and transformation, of soul-rending and soul-searching. Rev. Ted Hoskins was (and is) an amazing spiritual guide, a holy man. Under his mentoring, we pondered the ocean and the creatures that live therein. I would discover my ebb and flow, my journey, and my ocean soul-creature, the lobster. Who knew? Maybe there is a sermon series in this paper. But for now I’ll share a few of my thoughts from back then.
Back then I believed the only way I would bring healing and resolve to the losses in my life was to move away – far away – from the ocean, specifically the coast of Maine. Interesting how healing and pain seem to come and go like the tide and how we cope and live with that tide tells a lot about who we are – and Who’s we are.
What is Sea-like in your life? How does it’s movement and constancy, it’s tides and currents, it’s cycles and vastness speak to your life and of God’s presence? Are you like the mussel that affixes itself to a rocky foundation, adapting your shell over time to the constantly changing environment surrounding you? Or maybe you are like kelp, rising and falling and swaying with the tides and currents of life -nourishing and sheltering those around you. Or perhaps you are, like me, a wandering shedder? Shedding what no longer fits and becoming vulnerable while growing in new ways, acutely aware of your reliance and dependence on those around you.
We are once again about to embark on this journey called Lent – a time of transition and transformation, of soul-rending and soul-searching. We are cast upon these Holy Waters to journey into Life which is Chaos and Calm. And in the midst of it all is God.
Deep Peace to You,