GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#89 — September 1, 2019

Faith is not something that goes against the evidence, it goes beyond it.

— Alister McGrath

Greetings, Inspired Seekers!

Throughout the many years I have been offering these newsletters, I have often raised the question: How comfortable are you with discomfort? It is a question that still lingers as the clouds after a rainstorm. Hovering, not causing any problems but creating an anticipation of the unknown. Being comfortable with discomfort is like that. Being able to hold the tension between two seemingly opposing thoughts brings faith out of the theoretical and into the practical reality of daily life. It forces us to put faith in the forefront. And, honestly, how uncomfortable is that?!

In our rush to find the answer, confirm the truth and achieve closure, are we not rushing to another's finish line rather than our own? Can you live in the gray space of unknowing in order to reach another level of deeper spirituality and truth? Most of us have not been prepared for this. Most of us have been raised to pass exams, get the answers right and move on to the next thing. Not exactly exercises of trust.

We have been conditioned to believe that faith is following a prescription rather than seeking a new antidote for the world's challenges. We are not comfortable living through and with doubt. We are not comfortable with growth that requires time — we want a quick fix — God, give me patience and give it to me right now!

And yet, we often refer to ourselves as practitioners. Well, practice does not mean simply sitting on the cushion or in the pew. It means converting to a living-based practice. One that is simply, but not necessarily easily, lived every day. It is the essence of the spiritual life. Praying on our knees is for naught if it does not change us. You can't just wear the comfy yoga pants — you have to do the yoga!

Patience, opening, healing and pausing for the revelation of wisdom rather than accepting the blanket answers bound in theory seems to be the path of the seeker. Otherwise, how do we make meaning of the parables, the stories and myths, the koans and quandaries presented in the ancient wisdom traditions? Blind faith is uninformed and, in many cases, when confronted by deep and tragic suffering, is not sustainable.

So, perhaps this month, our focus can be to answer that question, to stretch ourselves just a bit, until we need that pause that holds that tension. That is, until the next time.

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I rest in the space of unknowing, trusting that the wisdom will come.

Spiritual Direction can help create and hold the sacred space needed to be comfortable with discomfort. All traditions — and those of no tradition — are all welcome. or 215 260 1611.