Thursday, October 10, 2013

And We are Back

Here is what I wrote on the plane ride back from Israel in my journal:

"My journal has been strangely quiet over the last 10 days- but it is for no lack of magical experiences. I have been absorbing, breathing, sponging in every part of this trip. I feel, I am feeling everything. So many thoughts are swirling unarticulated... bouncing off the walls of my scull like excited electrons.

If I were to recount this trip, I could tell you about many wondrous things. I can tell you of the waves crashing on the Andromeda rocks in Tel Aviv, I can tell you of great generosity, of hospitality in the West Bank, in a flat in Tel Aviv with a wall open to the hot air of the city. I can tell you about the oasis of a summer camp, of dancing under soccer flood lights to American music while Frisbees fly through the air and hebrew, english, arabic and laughter all swirl up in the air together. I can tell you of dark stories told in a buried Ethiopian restaurant in the wrong neighborhood, of trains full of soldiers and antique shops drowning in treasures- including Victorian paintings of Lilacs. I can tell you about rafting down the Jordan, swimming in waterfalls with fish nibbling on my toes. I can speak of hot nights and friendly stray cats and warm breezes sucking the air out of the landscape around you.

But mostly, after all the interaction and walking and conversing and playing- after the dinner on the rooftop of Tel aviv drinking wine, eating goat cheese and watching the sunset cool everything in a light white light. After this moment right now- flying over Tel Aviv and Israel along the blinking coast at night- what I am left with is a sense of place and a sense of wonder. My purpose? I do not know. But my fate is intertwined with this country. And I am in love with it. With the hope and resignations, and atrocity and community it encapsulates. I am one hundred percent enchanted. And there are few places I have travelled- few experiences in which everything seemed to so obviously fit into a dance- a perfect symmetry. Israel breathed in in and guided me with ease and grace day in and day out.

This is not the end. This is the beginning."

....And then Slam! Life happened. Or maybe better articulated, it didn't. Came back to Minnesota with a summer filled with more ultimate, a all-consuming career switch to the Medtronic Communications department, a upheaval of all of my things moving to a new home, time spent up north with family and continuing work with Landmark and Orrery. I've been so busy its hard for me to even articulate with what- but I have been working real hard. Israel seems some distant magical world I visited in a dream- I look back on what I wrote and think- what does that even mean? What was I thinking? 

And I wish I could give you a great reason why I didn't keep writing my blog. Maybe it was that whispering doubt: "Does God really have an intention in all of this for me after all?" Maybe it was because I just wasn't intentional about making the time. Maybe because I thought my journey to Israel was going to provide all the answers. WRONG- had no answers to come home and write about. Regardless I didn't write a single post after Israel- and did not fulfill on my commitment do write once a week for a year. And if I put the guilt and the inadequacy i feel about that aside, here is what I am left with:

photo.JPGHere I am, 3 1/2 months after my trip- and I'm admittedly at a loss. A great build up- and a immensely moving experience- a stronger faith- but don't know where to turn to next. I feel like a pressurized room that just had its doors open and all the air rushed out of it. And if I look at my life- it is still filled with wonderful people and magical experiences and daily joy, but its just... well... altogether too comfortable. And God? Not feeling quite as omnipresent in my life as he could be.

And I have a whole new set of concerns, along with some persistent ones. Where am I going in my career? What should I invest my time into that makes a difference in this world? That fulfills me? What is my vocation? What is the next adventure? Am I missing something? And what about this whole potential marriage thing- that's terrifying!

I think it was a mistake this summer to assume that after developing my faith and spiritual inquiry it was ok to not pay attention to it for awhile- kind of like "Great, handled that! Now onto the next thing." Turns out it doesn't work that way.

So! All of this is building up to my humbling admittance that no- indeed I do not have my life, vocation much less the next week figured out and I feel pulled to continue this intentional exploration. So I am recommitting! One year. Once a week. Let's see if I can finish this one out- or rather we can- this is something I couldn't do alone as I found last year. Join me in this journey if you feel compelled. Doors are open- air is out. Room for new life, new people and God to come in all over again- and who knows what else.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back. I think you needed a break from your writing, with too much experience rushing at you and too little time to pause and reflect. Your words about Israel and your experience there were beautiful and almost poetic in style. I loved your vivid descriptions of the country, so fresh in your mind as you flew back to the U.S.
    Israel gets under the skin of most people who visit there. It is a pivotal country in the history of the world, and the place where our Lord lived out his life and passion. He grieved over it, and talked of The New Jersusalem that is to come. In the war torn Middle East, it is an oasis and the Promised Land of God's people. It is beautiful, holy, glowing in golden light, full of promise and of despair, and inhabited by a passionate people who many have tried repeatedly to wipe off the face of the earth.
    Your trip there may not have answered all your questions, but always remember that "Life is a journey, not a destination." We are all tourists on this earth, just passing through. So continue to "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" just like Howard Hong and Kierkegaard would advise you to do every day.
    I am glad you are writing again!