In today’s blog I will explain the meaning of life. So really, by rights it should be a lot longer. And I should be able to find a corporate sponsor.
But first an update on my move to Lucky Lake.
Thanks to Rev. Jordon up in Saskatoon who informs me that the best way to discourage mosquitoes is by changing what you eat. Apparently, the little critters love the scent of sweet fruits such as apples and grapes, but not the smell of citrus fruits or garlic. This is either excellent advice or she’s just trying to see if she can get the new girl (that would be me) to wear a string garlic cloves and orange peels around her neck. Frankly, if the insects are as bad as I’ve heard, I may give it a try.
Thanks also to former Regina-ite, Lorne, who has cautioned me, once I’m west of my provincial border, not to use the “T” word to tell people where I’m from. “Just say you’re from Ontario,” he says. “People don’t mind Ontario… well, not much.”
Next, I’m preparing for my move by making a list of thing I’ll be able to do in Saskatchewan that I can’t do here in… um, the “T” place. So far I have:
Drive my car for twenty minutes and manage to get further than two blocks from my house.
Take a deep breath.
Stay tuned for more.
Finally, the moving truck comes tomorrow to haul away the furniture I’ve collected for my new home. I’ve renamed Liz and my house Noah’s Ark. We now have two of everything.
And now, for lesser issues. The Meaning of Life.
A lot of people have asked me why I’m leaving those I love most in the world and a place where I fit in, where I understand how people live and what they need, to go 2,700 km away to a place where I know no one at all and don’t have a clue about how to serve or support. I continue to tell people that I’m going to do God’s work. But I know, as I’ve said in a previous blog, that God has more than enough work right here in my city that I could be doing.
The reason I am going far away from the place I know and the people I love is this.
I continue to believe that we’re put on this earth for one thing and one thing only. And it’s not to achieve financial security or buy a Hummer or finally match the colour values in my living room. At least I hope it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things at all. They’re just beside the point.
The main and most important thing we are put on the face of the earth to do is this. We are here to grow our soul. The Buddhists put it slightly differently. They say, “This life on earth is tenuous and easily lost. The time for spiritual learning is now.”
Fortunately God, or however we choose to call the Helpfulness that exists in the universe, is ready and able to help us with this important task. It places relationships and other challenges in our lives to help us. Usually, we do not like this. Because often the ways we’re shown to grow our souls are hard for us. Sometimes even hurt a little. Which just goes to prove that whoever says that religion is a crutch is wrong. A spiritually aware life is not for sissies.
Growing a soul involves meeting small, difficult, challenges every day. Choosing compassion over anger. Forgiveness over resentment. Understanding over judgment. Frankly I, for one, don’t always manage it. Then there are the bigger and even more difficult challenges. Losing a job. Or a loved one. Struggling to heal a relationship. Or to see God’s loving hand in dark days and troubling times. For me, growing my soul has involved accepting myself as gay, supporting my child as she transgendered, committing my time and talents to serving my church and its people. And that’s just in the last fourteen years. But the result of trusting that God knows what my soul needs to grow has been the same each time. Greater peace. Wider love. More joy.
I know enough about the ways in which God nurtures and tends our lives to know that it rarely happens without some growing pains. My task is simply to stay curious about what God knows I need now.
So, today I’m packing my final boxes of stuff for my move. Knowing that wherever I go, the people I love may not go with me, but God does. Lending me strength. Promising me wonder. Ready at every moment, to help me grow my soul.
Coming tonight: Ordination pictures. Almost for sure this time.