NOT NOW, NOT YET

VOCATION, VOCATION, VOCATION. If it’s true that these words are real features in our corporate life here in Bramhall then it’s also true that they’re undergirded by prayer, prayer, prayer. People are learning that “Be still for the presence of the Lord” is a real invitation and not just a nice first line for a hymn with a popular tune. And I keep turning, again and again, to Gerald G May’s The Wisdom of Wilderness …

Like a slave to my thoughts, my body gets up to collect what I need for breakfast. I set my coffee mug on a stone near the fire and take one step toward the car and I am suddenly overcome with fatigue and the Slowing Presence arises wordlessly inside me, in a place much deeper than my mind, and it is telling me No, it is not yet time for breakfast, not at all.

I almost feel gentle hands taking me by the shoulders, setting me back down by the fire. My body relaxes, my mind quiets. I sit. I look at the fire. I look at the morning mountainside. I close my eyes. There is no sound but the stream and the pine sap popping in flames. I watch the fire and I know time passes. Much time. Now and then thoughts of breakfast arise briefly and are stilled by the deeper sense, “Not now. Not yet.” I just sit.

And sometimes, oftentimes even, it really is in just sitting that vocation, vocation, vocation really takes shape, really makes sense, really involves ME, and leads to just the right kind of creativity and action.