OK! I Got it!

8 Mar


Ok!  I got it!

I have a theory.  It goes like this.  When something unexpectedly interesting happens in my life, I take notice.  If or when that same thing is replicated or reinforced a short time later, I think about it and wonder about similarities.  When the third similar experience knocks on my door, I pay closer attention and reflect more deeply.  “What’s going on here?”  Finally, when the fourth visitor comes with the same message, I decide that I’d better sit down and connect the dots.

Ok!  I got it!

A couple of months ago, well into pondering some personal questions about my own spirituality, I paused for a moment in the fine book I was reading and wondered about the topic on the page.  It was a description of the Desert Fathers and Mothers who, in the third to sixth centuries, decided that the wildness of the desert was the place they would find a fresh, deeper connection with the Sacred.  I filed that somewhere on the backside of my brain.

A few weeks later I received a gift from a friend.  I’m not sure he knew anything about my wandering and searching, but as an act of friendship he presented me with a book for my library.  It was “In God’s Holy Light: Wisdom From The Desert Monastics.”  What an interesting coincidence.

About 10 days later, at a Monday morning meeting of like-minded pilgrims discussing and probing their faith, the group leader asked if I had ever heard of a rather good book that just might shed some light on my walk.  Anxious for any thoughtful insights, I welcomed the title:  “The Solace of the Fierce Landscapes:  Exploring Desert and Mountain Spiritualities”.  That’s puzzling.  The desert again?  Ok.

Two days ago, in the crowded dairy section of the supermarket near my home, I noticed a person who looked familiar from a distance.  When she turned around, it was, indeed, my friend I had not seen in months.  She recognized me.  We hugged and began the easy path into conversation.  “How are you?”  “What have you been doing?”  To which she answered, “I’ve just come from a wonderful retreat day with a group of people who are exploring their spiritual lives.”  “Wonderful”, I said, “what was the topic or approach for the day?”  “Oh, it was a remarkable look at the desert fathers and mothers and how they went into the wilderness to encounter God.”  “Desert?  Did you say desert?”  I felt like sitting down on the edge of the yogurt cabinet.  What’s going on?

In the order of appearance:  my own casual, unexpected brush with the desert seekers; the gift from my friend; a recommendation from the group leader; and the chance meeting with my old friend in the market.  All unplanned.  Each one linked to the other.  A common invitation?

As I write these words today, I feel some level of purposeful confirmation and I happily observe that I live in Arizona, which happens to be in the midst of the Sonoran Desert.

Ok!  I got it!

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