Peace Eluded Me
Laying in bed, my thoughts were filled with all that was left undone.
This first round of chemotherapy left me very weak. The simplest of tasks required intention and extra effort.
My mind raced. Peace eluded me.
Coffee in hand, I turned on the news. I have taken to spending a few minutes with each of the major news outlets. I find it helps me understand the depth and breadth of thought that is stirring within our world. Peace eluded me.
The second cup of coffee in hand, I made my way downstairs to my study. Looking at the days’ agenda and what needed to be accomplished, I was overwhelmed. Peace eluded me.
Be StillMy study is right off our garage. I will often walk into the driveway to clear my head. Coffee in hand, I walked to the top of our driveway.
Standing in the silence of the early morning, my spirit relaxed. All the noise of this crazy world faded away.
Be Still and Know that I am God
Be Still and Know that I am
Be Still and Know
I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace.
Standing at peace, my thoughts returned to an experience I had a few weeks ago.
An Unsettling Question
As the season of COVID wore on, I found myself struggling spiritually.
I was distracted and found it hard to quiet my soul. The Jesuit Center was on lockdown, and I missed three of my retreats. I needed something to help focus and quiet my soul.
I came across an online workshop provided by The Center for Action and Contemplation, which focused on Teresa of Ávila’s Interior Castle.
As part of the workshop, James Finley asks,
Is it possible that we could learn to be so emptied by love that in the moment of biological death, when that moment finally comes, nothing will happen because you will have already died?
Now of course to the ego-self, it is a big deal because something will happen, but is it possible nothing will happen because you will be on your death bed going, ‘I have been here for a long, long time’ if God is Lord of life, God is Lord of death…
I found myself listening to that section over and over again.
A profound question. One that I have wrestled with over the past four years of my cancer battle as I have confronted the issue of my mortality in ways I never did previously.
A pressing question. The past few months have revealed that my cancer is growing again. Each time Dr. Saroha tells me it is time to begin treatment again, I am reminded that this life is fleeting. James’ question becomes even more pressing.
A disturbing question. We spend the vast majority of our lives ignoring or even denying the reality of our mortality. A disturbing question, yet I am strangely at peace.
A Question to Quiet the Soul
Jim’s question helped quiet my soul.
Over the past few months, one of my most significant anxiety sources has been that I would not have the opportunity to continue this spiritual journey I am traveling.
I like where I am headed, I am enjoying the journey, and am hopeful to continue to grow.
I love the people I am traveling alongside. Watching them grow and encounter God in themselves, each other, the wider world, or scripture fills me with joy.
I do not want cancer to rob me of traveling that journey to completion. I know it is not exactly logical or rational, yet that is where my spirit was.
My times of quiet would be filled with thoughts of this journey coming to an end, and a deep sense of longing and sadness would overtake them.
I find the image of nothing happening when I am on my deathbed very helpful.
God merely saying, “Dan, we will continue our journey into the depths of my love.”
Peace found me. Once again, Jesus has set this captive free to live life to the full!
Find your quiet place. Take a moment to be still and know.
Find the peace we all so desperately long for.
God is Good All the Time, All the Time God is Good!
Thinking back, this is not the first time I have found myself troubled and in search of peace.
What a wonderful process for facing death now and in the future. I have found Centering Prayer very rich in the realm of “Being” with God’s presiding love and no other agenda. I could picture this on my death bed and continuing the journey! Thank you!