It’s as though my life is being reflected in the season these months. Leaves are blowing around, no longer of any use. The amount of sunlight is constrained. Grey, heavy clouds cling to the sky.
A time pointing at death, yet holding the secret of life deep in its belly.
I can’t remember how long ago it was for me when the drops of God’s words hit my head and bounced off:
You are in the first level of your learning. When you give away what I have taught you, you will enter the second level of your learning.
They were just raindrops, after all, disappearing into the night. Because invariably my response was: That’s never going to happen.
I was perfectly prepared to go through life never opening my mouth to anyone about what I had learned in my visions from God, never writing about it, never joining in with a group that explored such things as visions and mysticism.
I was perfectly content being, in terms of my mysticism, absolutely nobody. Absolutely invisible. Absolutely nonexistent.
Then the cyclone hit me. And I lost my footing. I lost my orientation. And I looked up and saw someone watching me. And because of the look in his eye, I gave up my resolve to not exist in this world.
I wrote to him about some things I “know.”
I can’t describe his response as gracious, but that did it. I was through. I had graduated.
Ever the analyzer, ever the critic, I wondered, if I am this old going into the second level of learning, will I be 1,000 years old when I enter the third? And just how many levels are there, anyway?
But in all the moaning, it never occurred to me that there might be something tangibly different in the second level from the first level. That my life would change. That I would have to change along with it.
And that I would have to know how to change.
No manual. No guide book. No training for the new training.
Just the night.
Even the raindrops are gone now.
I started so young, working with God, that learning how to apply his absolute rules to the way I would handle the visions he gave me felt natural, once I accepted that that was who I was and that was how I was going to live.
Absolute rules. When this, then that. Not, that, if it’s convenient. Not, that, if you feel like it. Not, that, in your own way. Always, when this, then that.
When doors are locked (in human terms: when something ends), then you move on. You do not knock on the door and ask for it to be reopened. You do not object. You do not grieve the loss. This is your path. You continue on.
When the wind blows you left, you go left. You do not fight the wind. You do not walk into the wind.
You follow your feet.
(In human terms: cooperate with the life that is before you. Do not, under any circumstances, try to write the script of your own life. Instead, let it be revealed to you.)
In America, living like this is, well, incomprehensible to most, I imagine.
But that is how I lived. I can’t say my response to this way of living has always been gracious. So there. Oh well.
The first thing I noticed about the second level of learning was that the mantle of absolute rules was no longer there. If the door was locked, I was now free to wait until it was unlocked. I was free to try again later.
I was free.
I can understand fully Mother Teresa’s sense that in her later years, God had abandoned her completely.
After all the years of working with God, having God wrapped around her so tightly that she found it difficult to breathe, she probably found herself freed. On her own.
Disoriented and heartbroken.
I can’t say my response to this “new” way of living made me feel heartbroken. Though having my heart treated to a root-canal performed by God has left me feeling emotionally numb and wounded, I’m not heartbroken over no longer feeling the absolute rule of God on me.
I can say that I feel disoriented, though.
Because it’s not like I no longer receive “assignments.” I do. And they feel bigger, heavier, more significant. More meaningful.
But how do I go about accomplishing them? If there are no absolute rules, how do I find my way? Can I apply the rules myself? Can I make up new rules?
I’m learning, slowly, always ever so slowly, that I have, in fact, been trained. That I do know the ways (if even in a very limited way) of God.
I just no longer know how the pieces of the puzzle fit together anymore. Something that was once second nature (if not, first nature) to me, now feels foreign and incomprehensible.
Like a person who has suffered a major stroke and is learning how to live in the world again.
Because what I have managed to figure out (alleluia!) is that the major shift, the important movement, is that the focus is no longer working with God, but with people. And, perhaps even, a person. A person whom I serve. As I served God.
Seems gobsmackingly bizarre.
But there it is.
I am to study and serve man.
I really, really liked feeling like nobody. Like nothing.
And this all has made me feel like somebody.
It also makes me feel profoundly inadequate. And capable of failure, when I always used to have God as a safety net.
I guess, in the end, in terms of my mysticism, I am learning to feel, well, human.
Not that I ever felt anything more than human. Just that when you feel like you are nothing, at least in terms of your relationship with God, then your failures are just part of your learning. Your sorrow is just part of the flow of your life. Your ignorance is to be expected.
Nothing in all of that is related to the world, to someone, to a heart.
I’ve been taken out of being home-schooled for a million years and thrust into a very public school, only to find that I don’t know what I am doing. Or how to learn what to do.
And I still say (in truth: moan) that I am too old for these big happenings to be taking place in my life. I should be like the trees outside, going into a nice, deep, peaceful sleep.
With no threat of a great awakening in a few months.
But, then, that would be my way. And, in the end, in spite of anxiety and fear and self-doubt and. . .
it is better to follow the way of God.
No matter where it leads.