#15 Sunlight, Spring, and the Spirit
I hope everyone out there in Internet-land had the same gorgeous weather we’ve had in the Northeast this week! The extra hour of sunlight came just in time to make this sudden spring even more obvious. I’ve always loved snow and even thunderstorms, but in my book, nothing beats a long, sunny day.
I went home to my parents’ place for a few days this week for a job fair and an interview. Right now, I’m finishing out a lease at the apartment I rented for school, but I’ll probably move home in June. I love the college town where I live now, especially since some of my friends settled in this area after college and my boyfriend is here. Giving up my little independent life with him and our friends would be difficult, but I haven’t found full-time work yet, so it’s not much of a choice. As June creeps closer, I’ve been getting more and more upset at the specter of a life at home with my parents, underemployed and too broke to go visit my scattered friends. As my mood soured, I got more and more focused on distracting myself from that sense of negativity. I tried to keep my mind occupied with too much Internet and TV and an utter lack of quiet time alone. That took a toll not only on my sanity, but my spirituality as well.
While I was home, conversations with my parents about the various jobs to which I applied brought the issue to light, along with all my uncertainty and fear borne of trying to figure out my future without God’s help. I broke down Friday night and prayed for guidance earnestly for the first time in a long, long time. Saturday afternoon, in the beautiful spring sunshine, I took country roads back from my house instead of the highway. I shut off the radio and found that I didn’t fear the silence the way I had for so long. Something had truly shifted in me. There was no voice from the heavens, no bolt of lightning, no dramatic change of any kind. Instead, there was a quiet certainty in my mind and heart that a still, small flame burns at my core and refuses to be dimmed or quenched by the fact that I don’t know my future. That flame at the core of each of us is the Spirit, God’s Life gently living in our small human lives. If, like me, you’ve been avoiding reflection because there are some thoughts or feelings you’d rather not deal with, I urge you today to stop trying to escape your own mind. It’s impossible to run from yourself; nothing outside is satisfying. For me, it took turning inward and facing those fears to find the Spirit dwelling within. I still don’t have an answer to where I’ll be living and working next fall. I don’t know whether I’ll see my parents every day, or my boyfriend, or anyone I know at all. I do know one thing; if I keep fostering that flame, I’ll be able to spend quality time each day with the One whose love makes all other love possible. And that knowledge brings a warmth and comfort that not even the spring sunlight can match.