Been feeling shyer and clumsier today. Soggy in the spirit. An awkward-feeling day.
The weight of the changes feels heavier, one week into interprovincial postulancy. I am more grounded than I was when I landed in Hays last Sunday, which is good. I am coming to know my place. But it's good to soar, too. We need to soar. Indeed, we are made to rise into the air and follow wherever the Spirit blows. However, sometimes you can soar only when you are not aware of the forces of gravity.
God is reminding me gently of gravity. So are my devilish idols, though less gently. Now I am coming down to the end of gravity's rainbow. (Perhaps a few of my brothers are coming down, too: our honeymoon is over, our marriage is beginning!) Speaking for myself, I am feeling human, all-too-human today. God is speaking some kind of deep-down, heavy-metal truth. The truth is pressing down, making more dense my spiritual core. When that happens, I get moody. I get real quiet. I get tongue-tied. I need to sit in silence and darkness with that truth and feel how it is shifting my center of gravity. In a word, I need to be alone.
Although we get generous expanses of personal time, right now I feel like I can't get enough alone time, can't get enough quiet time. The brothers are with you or near you 24 hours a day, and there are many more of them than in postulancy. That's great if you are an extrovert; it's fatiguing if you are an introvert.
It is sinking in: I will be living 24 hours a day for the next fourteen months with 24 brothers and a team of friar formators. Whoa. Whoa again. This is a lot of people to be living with!
What do I feel like right now? I feel like a fool in the shower. You turn the water on, and it's lukewarm at first, so you turn up the hot water. It gets a little warmer, and it feels nice, but not quite hot enough, so you turn up the hot water a lot more. All of sudden the water begins to scald you, so you dial it back down beyond lukewarm to tap the cold. There is momentary relief, then you jump in shock: ice water is pouring down your body!
My body-soul-spirit took for granted all the changes of the last seven days. Now I'm standing soggy in the shower, shivering and sweating.
And there you have it. This week, I'll be aiming to recover my equilibrium, now that I am more mindful of my environment. Brothers, if you are reading this, please be patient with me. The quality of my presence may not always be as rich or as real as we want it to be, at least in the early going together. Stick with me; I will stick with you. God is working on me and my responses. The graces God showers on me (and each of us), I will learn to bless and channel them. And sooner or later, the temperature of the water will be just right.