social spark Aisling Beatha: Summer Art Journal Book Study - Part 8

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Art Journal Book Study - Part 8

Here we are at the next season and the next word or spiritual practice in the Brian D McLaren book - "Naked Spirituality", the season of perplexity and the word "WHEN?"

So far in this summer journey of reading and exploration I have shared with you
Summer Reading Art Journal

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The season of perplexity takes us from summer into Autumn.    From the times of simplicity and then struggle into times when sometimes there is no winning and there are no answers in sight.  In this season what matters most, more than being right, more than being effective, is being HONEST, authentic, even brutally so.

For all its angst there is beauty in perplexity.  there's the strength of ruthless honesty, the courage of dogged endurance, the companionship of the disillusioned, the determination of the long distance runner who just will NOT give up.

Summer Reading Art Journal

And so, we come to WHEN and the questions of, what happens when, pray as we might, vicious cycles spin and spin, gears grind and grind and we get NOWHERE?  The coping strategies that have carried us this far in our journey of faith no longer work.  And we are left with what seems to be nothing but questions.

WHAT IF when we pray we think we are just talking to ourselves, or when we read our bibles it seems like a nothing more than a bunch of legends, of when we are at church we find ourselves thinking it's all a bunch of group make believe?  What if we don't want to think these things but we just CAN'T HELP IT?

What comes after this is fear, the fear that this will never end.  And so we move to survival.

Summer Reading Art Journal

The when of survival  is one of aspiration morphing into desperation.  And yet, above it all the flag of hope says "again", as in psalm 42.  Hope in God for I again shall praise Him.  it doesn't dare to be brave enough to say "SOON", it just manages a more modest "SOMETIME".  And so with that repeated mantra of when? again! when? Again! When? Again! we survive for one dragged out moment at a time.  We survive through delay, frustration, hardships we feel we cannot endure for one more minute, and our desire is tested and stretched.  Do you really want this?  How much longer are you prepared to wait?

And through it all, day after day we SURVIVE.  So we hold our WHEN or HOW LONG or WHERE before God, we make space for it, we allow ourselves to feel it rather than fear it, we let it out like an OUCH!

Check back soon for more pages from this art journal, although they might be slightly delayed as we have holiday club (VBS) next week.


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