First thing. Last Tuesday, over a week ago, I was in a forum where eight of us discussed the veracity of Christianity. Essentially, all the questions aimed at this idea, of whether Christianity is true or not. There were people all along the religious spectrum, if there is such a thing, and we talked about morality and resurrection and if God exists. We took turns talking, throwing out ideas and experiences. It wasn’t until after that I realized how I had charged in with my ideas, supported them with quotes and thoughts of others, and—at the very least—set up a false persona of myself. Perhaps that was all that happened. On the other hand, perhaps I came across as prideful and full of myself, which I certainly was.
Second thing. Over every weekend I play with my daughter, and this weekend was no different. We built houses and played chase and read books. Most of all, Ellis loves to pretend that she is Rapunzel: I must “climb” her hair and dance with her and generally act out scenes from the latest Disney movie. After doing this all weekend, and then working Monday, I came home ready to relax and do those things that give me comfort and ease. After dinner, we played Rapunzel for a few minutes and then I escaped. I was looking at something on my phone, I remember, while Ellis was downstairs. I was on the couch and Brooke across from me. What are you doing? Brooke asked. I shrugged. I don’t recall, but I was probably catching up on sports news, of which there was little. Ellis has been waiting all day to play with you, she said. I set down my phone, and don’t know how many more times I climbed the tower of her hair or acted out scenes. It doesn’t matter.
Third thing. I have started the spiritual disciplines as prescribed by St. Ignatius. I am on a very leisurely modified version, because I don’t have a month to disappear, to spend in silence and reflection. Besides, I would miss the birth of our second daughter. But, what I do have is time each morning and evening to reflect—and especially in the evening—to go over the remains of the day and see what has actually happened. It is a time to see where I played and where I sat on my phone, a time to see how anxious I was about feeling a bit more comfortable, a time to see where, perhaps, God has dropped pleasures like sand through his fingers. It is a time to see myself more clearly. To know myself, as Socrates would say, and many Christians would say after him, asserting that such a command is also at the core of the gospel.
Mostly, it is becoming a time to let go. To see how imperfectly I act, to see how I grow anxious and angry, and to open up my hands and let these things slip through them like sand. And I hope that God picks up my sand and transforms even that, dripping it on someone else so it is not my sand but something infused with goodness.