Yesterday I went to seminary...well not exactly. I started something called the Episcopal School for Ministry. It's a small group of folks that meet once a month on a Friday night and Saturday day. You pick one of the classes, but the group as a whole spends Friday night in community. It was really a great experience, and I'm headed back today for my first "class" experience.
I'm not sure what I expected, but this road that I'm on has led me to some interesting people who I see I can learn so much from. Most of the people in the program are significantly older than I am. Which is to say they likely have wisdom I don't have, so i know there is much to be absorbed and learned through this process. The really great thing is how open and engaged everyone is. Quite honestly I'm used to hanging around other lawyers. We tend to be pretty surface, gossipy kind of people. We don't typically get beyond that, even when we are good friends. In the ESM group, in the first night I met these people, most were willing to share insights and life experiences that were at once personal and touching.
In recent weeks, my faith journey has felt very much like "climbing to." There's this great song by Rich Mullins where he says "I don't know if I am climbing to or falling in..." He's speaking of his faith and his journey to faith. Most days lately I feel it has been a struggle - a climbing experience. A lot of effort, and sometimes very exhausting. But last night it felt more like "falling in." I don't mean that it was easy or simple, but rather that I could relax into the fall. Falling is a scary sensation, and I think Rich knew that when he picked that phrase. Because falling means vulnerability and a loss of control on the way down. But if I can allow myself to fall in, then I can escape the difficulty of the climb for a period and find the rest and peace I desire.
The other part of that song is Rich's wish for his listener, "May you know with all the saints, the height, the depth and the width and the length of the love of God." The professor in charge of the program quoted a passage in Ephesians where the stanza above comes from in describing the study of theology. I'm eager to know what's next for me in this journey, but I hope a greater and deeper knowledge and understanding of the love of God is a part of whatever is to come.