Barbara Brown Taylor

X Marks the Spot

I let a week slide by without anything for the blog.  The blog is always hungry.  The blog always wants to be fed.  The blog will have to go on a diet next week.  I’ll be at Camp Idlewild.  If you’re looking for something to read, stop by the camp blog for pics and updates.  Our awesome webmaster has trained my phone to send updates to it, so I’m going to be making mini entries throughout the week. For now I have a huge challenge for you.  Read and dwell on this quote from Barbara Brown Taylor.  I started her book Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith last year at camp.  This year I’ll be reading her new one: An Altar in the World.  She was just recently a speaker at my Alma Mater’s Christian Scholars’ Conference. She’s talking about the treasure of meaning and significance in life.  And how we’re always looking for some big spiritual “A-ha” or awakening.  And how we’re always looking somewhere else for an encounter with God:
People seem to look all over the place for this treasure.  The last place most people look is right under their feet, in the everyday activities, accidents, and encounters of their lives.  What possible spiritual significance could a trip to the grocery store have?  How could something as common as a toothache be a door to greater life?...No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it.
Ohhh.  I want to write something like that.  Not that there aren’t mountain top experiences to be had.  I just hope we’re not looking to them to give our lives meaning.  Most importantly, I hope we’re not so obsessed with the future that we miss God’s presence in the…um, presence. How often do you think to yourself: I’ll be happy when ______.  Or I’ll be content when ______.  Or Life will be good when ______.  I seemed to recall Jesus saying that the Kingdom is here now. I hope instead of staring at the map and looking over the horizon, you’ll start digging right now.