Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Water Wheel

This weekend I "stirred" the contents of the house again.  Dear hubby hauled a crib to the attic and a bed down; I hauled a crib and other stuff to the fire victims.  I built the bed and rearranged the little kids' room.  Now I am sorting through a Mount Vesuvius of toys. I'm actually afraid if I don't tame this growing beast, it's gonna blow.  A week ago I did this whole routine with clothes;  it seems like all the little kids suddenly shot up and outgrew everything.

I don't mind this routine of shuffling, sorting and purging.  It's quite satisfying, really.  What hangs me up, however, is that every time, I think, "This time, I finally have it all in order."  Then a week later, I'm doing the same thing with some other set of someone's somethings.  I thought last weekend, "It never ends."

Bingo.  The reality of life in a household of seven is that a constant cycle of stuff coming and going is essential.  I'm now seeing it as a wheel, like a water wheel.  With every revolution, some water comes off and goes back into the pool and some new water is scooped up.  Maybe if I'm not always hoping I'm finished, I'll be able to fully commit to the process of evolution.

It's just like my spiritual work, isn't it?  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in getting the job done, I actually start to  think I'm "finished."  But seriously, can I ever be "finished" noticing what trips me up?  Can I be "done" refining my goals, deepening my faith or feeding my relationships?  Of course not, it's a ridiculous thought even if it does float around -- unnoticed -- from time to time in my subconscious.

I am bringing that image of the water wheel into my spiritual life.  My spiritual "work" is constantly changing and yet it bears some striking similarities to work I have done in the past.  With every revolution of the big wheel I am scooping up a fresh outlook, a new opportunity while letting go of that which is not essential.  It is truly a constant and ongoing process of purging and refining and-- in recognizing its ongoing-ness -- I am able to release the demand that every step be the perfect one. 

All spiritual work is "good" work.  It is all contributing to the process of me becoming more and more the woman I was created to be. Sometimes I can afford to take my eyes off the prize and focus them on enjoying the journey. 

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