Thursday, October 18, 2007

dark places

I don't like feeling overwhelmed, so the mouse chose a bad week to enter our kitchen Tuesday night. Please don't tell me the mouse didn't choose, I am thinking just as when I tell my students a plant is happy or sad. Who knows besides God how a plant feels or what a mouse chooses to do? Giving the kitchen a thorough cleaning was not a mid-week chore on my schedule, but that is what I did on Wednesday night. It set me behind in my mind and there it was... an overwhelmed funk. Prayer, exercising, talks with M helped bring me out of it, but there I was all the same.

Preparation is over, I am entering the spiritual exercises. This last week was fruitful. A running joke with some people is.. "even Wayne ...." It started when a friend said, "even Wayne wears a wedding ring," to her husband. This week, I heard myself say.. "Even Wayne can put his trust in God." Last night at my class we ended with a prayer. I chose Jeremiah 29:11-14, from his letter to the exiles. Jeremiah speaks of the different responses we get from God depending upon the level of energy we put into the relationship. I thought of these spiritual exercises. 42 days of preparation. I am the man who leaps into things. Read the manual before turning on the machine. That is not my style. 42 days.

We talked about sin (Romans 7:14-25), the law, trust (Hebrews 2: 5-13), choosing a life with God as opposed to a life without (Dueteronomy 30: 15-20). Then I was told we would enter into the first week of the exercises. This would take a week if I was at a retreat center so, it could take me another 40 to 50 days to get through this "week" during which we will explore sin.

I say, "Didn't we just cover that?"

The discussion had been spurred by Paul struggling with fully knowing that the law comes from God, knowing what is right, and yet at times going against God and the law. Jesus didn't abolish the law and at some points made it even stronger. I am not about to follow the book of Leviticus, but something is stirring. Over the years liturgy has gotten kinder and kinder when we speak of sin. Are we wretched as Paul describes himself? I know how I should treat others and at times fall way short. What causes that to happen? Paul believed in a force or spirit of sin inside himself. This is a dark place, but it is filled with light, for Paul says our hope and salvation is in God and Jesus.

A mouse died this week in my kitchen because of a choice I made.


  1. ah...the mice and trust! I discussed mice and trust with my spiritual director this week.

    Crabcakes were on the Wernersville lunch menu on Thursday, which brought you to mind and so I said a prayer for you in the chapel.

    may the light shine in the darkness...

  2. Self defense, Wayne; plead self defense!....

  3. Michelle-- I cursed my neighbor's many cats who wonder though my garden for even allowing a mouse to get close to my house.

    Jim-- my excuse is public health policy. if God doesn't except that, I'll try self-defense.


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