Friday, November 21, 2008
When the days grow short and the dark is long, there is something in our spirits that yearns to hibernate. Give up all pretense of moving on, getting through the day, and just wrap up with warm drinks and big blankets at home and go into a state of quiet rest. Lower the expectations, embrace the melancholy and the weariness, and just do the minimum to continue to exist.
What if the spiritual life necessitates this time in the dark, this time of quiet stasis, and we are killing ourselves by refusing to Sabbath, refusing to stop, refusing to be still? Are we too busy to embrace the gifts of hibernation?
The kingdom of heaven is like waking up after long sleep, like light after long dark, like activity after long rest. The kingdom of heaven is like an animal that comes out of the comfortable sameness of its winter den and finds stiff muscles grown strong again, finds the earth generous in new life, finds (after a time of nothing) the joy of every tiny something. What if the kingdom of heaven is waiting for us on the other side of the dark and we never get still enough to find it?