Choosing and Walking a Path
Recently a bible passage floated up for me. Turned out to be Philippians 2:12b-13: “Continue to work out you salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
This is what my journey of late has felt like — the fear and trembling part. Not an anxiety kind of fear (though that too at times) but more like a force exploding from within. I am being carried by the Life Force, and the ride is pretty harrowing at times. Like a chick breaking through its shell and entering the world.
“Working out my salvation with fear and trembling” does not sound like going to confirmation class, memorizing some bible verses, and getting “A”s on the tests. No this “working out” stuff is living LIFE.
I’ve also been drawn to Pathwork Lecture 68 and its words on this. Here are paragraphs 10-13 from said lecture. This reference includes my commentary at the beginning as a reflection on my own church experiences. I’ll not repeat those words here. I see this all quite aligned with the biblical quote and my own experience of my spiritual life. Thus is life from the point of view of a 68-year-old spiritual path walker.
Now lets jump a couple of generations. Sunday Pat and I were taking two of my grandsons, Liam and Logan, home to their dad. They had spent the night and we had finished breakfast at IHOP. Pat was making conversation with Logan, the 12-year-old. “So Logan, are you in confirmation class this year?” Last year he was in a class taught by his dad in the Lutheran church they go to. Logan replied, “No, I don’t believe that any more.” Pat, not missing a beat, asked, “Is there more?” Logan had a clear and simple answer. It seemed he had thought this through and had probably discussed it with his mom and/or dad. “I am an agnostic,” Logan announced. And he said it the way he might have said he liked cherry cordial ice cream. It was not some big weighty issue that was dangerous to talk about. He was open and clear. And he knew what agnostic meant!
I smiled inwardly and responded with some statement about the great Mystery of it all. It had taken me over 60 years to free myself from the weightiness of talking about matters spiritual and here Logan was at 12. Pretty amazing to me.
But of course announcing oneself to be an agnostic and living a rich life of meaning and purpose that way are two very different things. But at least it seems he has less to unlearn than I did, and he seems to hold it all with more lightness and openness than I have been able to my entire life. But maybe I needed a thicker shell to get to where I am from where I was and with what I had to work! All is perfect.