Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holes in Our Souls

 We need holes in our lives. Our lives are often likened to fire that brings light in the darkness. Too often our fire flicks and dies out long before we do. We are called to be living sacrifices but what we end out as burnt offerings instead. What is wrong in our spiritual life that we cannot be beacon lights that drive back the darkness until dawn? This poem about Fire gives us some insight.

FIRE ~ Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

If the logs are packed too tightly, without space for air, the log fire often dies. It is the same with our spiritual life. We need space in our lives if we want our spiritual fire to have fuel. Hectic too tightly packed lives preclude this. Our bodies follow certain biological rhythms that require periods of activities and periods of rest. We challenge and disrupt these rhythms to our own perils. In the Genesis records, God worked for six days and rested on the seventh thus setting the rhythm for our lives. There working time and there is non-working time. Note that whenever we consider the Sabbath, we start with working time then non-working time. In the Jewish custom, Sabbath starts on a Friday night where there is dinner, sleep and then Saturday, which is non-working. It starts with rest for our bodies, then rest for our souls. In our work-oriented culture, we seem to have reversed that. We think of work first, then rest. And often our ‘rest’ is more work rather than non-work.

Is it any wonder then that we have no space in our lives? Like a fire in which the logs are packed too tightly, we burn out before our time. Our lives need to have holes, spaces for non-work. Our souls need to be holey in order to be wholly.


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