inviting and yet locked

“By confronting us with irreducible mysteries that stretch our daily vision
to include infinity, nature opens an inviting and guiding path
toward a spiritual life.”

Thomas More

As polarized as we have been,
we Americans are locked in a cultural war for the soul of our country.

Pat Buchanan

(an inviting, yet closed and obviously shuttered, secluded entrance way / Rosemary Beach, Fl / Julie Cook / 2017)

There is a lovely Orthodox Christian blog that I follow…
Where I often find the most beautiful wisdom presented in the simplest of fashions.
This morning was no exception.

When I first read this morning’s posting’s title, with words such as Charismatic and despair…words that at first glance appear to be polar opposites of one another, I wasn’t prepared to find both a sweet reminder as well as an embracing
comfort all rolled into one.

I am reminded that as we each journey through this thing we call life,
we will each inevitably encounter times of great frustration, difficulty…
even overwhelming sorrow.

We will come to those places along on our walk where we find our pathway blocked
with the doorways, those apparent entrances beckoning us to continue forward, each shuttered and locked tight. There will be no obvious alternate path allowing for us
to continue onward, proceeding freely and unhindered.

It is at such a juncture on the path, where we are met by both doubt and despair.

Choice suddenly appears limited or even nonexistent.
Knowing we can’t progress forward and that we certainly can’t turn around,
going back from whence we came…for too much time has passed for turn arounds,
we are stymied. A rushing fear washes over us as we realize that we have
no other options, no choices.

And this is where we must look not obviously outward from ourselves
seeking our answers,
but rather we must look inward…traveling deeply within ourselves.

For it is in this very moment of inward verses outward, of how we will decide
to interact with the obstacles and locked doors,
which will eventually decide how we continue forward on our journey.

And so it is here, tucked gently away in this morning’s reading of simple words
offered by a simple monk, where we are gently yet profoundly reminded that
in our apparent despair, we are driven not by the seemingly overwhelmingness
of that very despair and its accompanying frustration, but rather by the divine interventions of the Spirit…
He who urges us, without our even being aware, to seek the only One who has
the key to unlocking those shattered doors, allowing for us to continue forward
on this odd little journey of ours.

It begins with a frustration or a pain or a sorrow and it ends with
an imploring prayer…

(the wisdom of Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex from the book Remember Thy First Love)

18 comments on “inviting and yet locked

  1. says:

    You’re a little later than usual. I was beginning to miss you already. Your post today is beautiful and hopeful. At the end of the day, all the pain and sorrow of this world has been swallowed up in victory. We have a great bounty awaiting us on the other side of eternity.

    • I so greatly appreciate being missed–albeit in my tardy fashion today.
      We’d stolen away for a few day’s to the beach…we were suppose to come home this morning…but late yesterday afternoon–knowing Gregory would have us up in the wee hours racing home as he’s always anxious to get back to check on the store and to deal with the backlog that accumulates in his absence—all of which blackens the mood of having been away in the first place—I suggested we simply leave for home that evening—avoiding the Monday morning rush through the various cities and towns and instead hopefully find things calmer on a late Sunday evening drive.
      We didn’t get in till very late so I had not had time to get a post ready until this morning.

      He simply longs for the day that he can sell out and actually “retire”—to a time where he isn’t worried about a business in his absence or to what mountains accumulate whenever he’s away more than a day!
      But thank you for missing me 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Shaver says:

    Hi, Julie!!! How have you been? You’ve been on my mind lately.

    • ELIZABETH!!!!!!! Helllloooooo my little long lost friend!
      How in the world are you??
      At last word, I think you guys were building? or was it moving to a farm type house?
      There was a new grand baby….

      We’ve been on a whrilwind—we lost Dad in March to cancer. I’m still dealing with my stepmom but in a different capacity…which is better—but boy things were really bad there for the past year, year and a half….
      then we lost my Aunt in July—a freakish thing and a long story but devastating as we were not thinking her cancer battle terminal but her heart could take no more of the treatments…
      Brenton and Abby are living in dad’s house in Atlanta—he’s in between jobs, she’s driving back and forth and is pregnant—due in February—that’s it in a quick little nutshell but you know there’s so much more to it all 🙂
      I hope you guys are good and that Tennessee is still rocking!!!

  3. oneta hayes says:

    Seeing the expression “pray always” from a new viewpoint. Thanks.

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