Friday nights on my friends' porch is one place I learn. When I hit the sidewalk, if I turn right I get to my church, if I turn left and left again I end up at a porch of some good folk who I met at my church. So with a beer or two, I unwind with friends while listening to their stories and telling a few of my own. The invitation goes out when the weather warms and ends about now and it is received by more of us than could ever fit on the porch, but we crowd on if needed. And nobody worries about perfect attendance.
I thought of this porch when I read this quote by Carl Jung- - ----
"We need colleges for 40 year olds to prepare them for their coming life. Our religions were always such schools in the past, but how many people regard them as such today."
This was quoted by Paul Robb, S.J. in his book Passage through Mid-Life: A Spiritual Journey to Wholeness. I have been reading a page or two each night following my examen.
So anyway, two weeks ago I showed up at the porch, after a crowd had formed, and three friends seemingly at once asked me when "my" adult class was to begin. Well, I ignored them the best I could, sat down by one and explained how busy my life was ---- how could I possibly find time to teach an adult class. clearly impossible. Ten days later, I am just home from teaching one.
The thought that entered and changed my mind was this ---- if getting a degree in spirituality is going to make me too busy to meet with my own community, to touch base on where God is surfacing or not surfacing in our lives, then something is wrong. Wisdom strikes again. So I took Sophia with me tonight and after a discussion on the images of God, I read a passage from The Book of Wisdom. It was given to me at Wernersville, and tonight I passed it on here in Lansdale.
This past Friday on the porch, books came up, and I was asked what I was reading for pleasure. And there I was again saying I was too busy with reading for my college class and prepping for teaching. My friend's wisdom carried with me, and now every night I am reading a few pages from Many Waters: A Companion to Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. It is a pleasure to read her writing.
I am glad that though some call me "teach" at church, it is my church that teaches me as I make my passage through mid-life.