I am reflecting with deep gratitude on all the Academy has meant in my spiritual journey during this past decade of deepening. I recently past the "10-year anniversary" of some difficult and formative experiences that cracked open the protective shell of my heart and exposed me a deep cavern in my soul, ready for exploration and exposure to the healing, cleansing light of Christ. The Academy came into my life about 1/2 way through that 10-year journey.
I have experienced new life. The Academy gave focus, clarity, and articulation to the rumblings of the heart God had been creating in me. I have discovered that:
- Christian life (and ministry) is not so much about "doing" but about "being".
- I am called to become like a tree, planted by streams of flowing water. If I am truly grounded, when heat comes my leaves will stay green, and when drought comes I will not cease to bear fruit.
- Prayer is not my work, but about allowing God time and space to do "soul work" in me.
- My lifelong quest is not to perform and function, but to abide in the true vine, so that I bear fruit that will last.
- All my anxious strivings for success and achievement reflect cultural values I have imposed on the gospel, and I am called to a journey of letting go, living from my center (my true self, the "Christ self" in me).
- Scripture is a place where I can go to be transformed, and prayer is a place where my spirit can dance.
- Much of the spiritual journey is a dark night of the soul.
- Relationships are both my greatest blessing and my deepest struggle. Forgiveness is a continual journey.
- Christ draws me near in the midst of pain as well as in "mystical moments" of grace.
- My joy is a choice.