We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(No. 4 of “Four Quartets”)
I started this blog nearly three years ago as a way of publicly recording my wanderings in the desert with God. I fancied myself as a western Poustinik…one called into the desert by God and whom would then periodically return with a message for the village. Being a Poustinik felt like my role in the church in which I was an associate pastor.
There have been significant changes in my life since I started writing here, changes which have included two major job changes and a move to another state. Perhaps you notice from the dates of the blog entries that I have only posted twice in the last year. Circumstances in my life have brought me to a point of working out of the vocational pastorate. But, that is not why my blogging has greatly decreased.
Over the past couple of years I have been discovering Eastern Orthodoxy. That journey has culminated (can one use that word with a journey that is really just beginning?) with me and my wife being received into the Church on Holy Saturday. We have finally come home.
We have seen the true light! We have received the heavenly Spirit! We have found the true Faith! Worshipping the undivided Trinity, who has saved us.
This is from a prayer sung during the Liturgy. The Orthodox believe the fullness of the faith–the fullness of God–is found by participating in the ancient Church. I’m not going to try to defend that statement; I don’t feel a need to. I simply believe it is true because the Church Herself proclaims it. I am experiencing it.
The Orthodox also believe that God is incomprehensible, but that you have the know Him to know that. Like Eliot’s poem, I have been exploring God for many years now, including sixty hours of formal, post graduate study. With Eliot’s traveller, I feel like I have arrived back at the beginning of my exploration: an infant in Christ.
The Orthodox Divine Liturgy is the very real journey from this world into the kingdom of God itself worshipping the Trinity with all the heavenly hosts, and then returning to this world. In my participation in this journey I have realized that I am only beginning to glimpse the incomprehensibility of God, only beginning to realize just how little I know Him and His revealed nature.
Before Him, before the men and women past and present who have given their lives to Him in a way that is so far beyond anything I have done I simply have nothing to say. Rather, I need to be quiet and listen and experience God through Him and His worldly saints.
I pray God draws me deeper into the desert, deeper into Him. Perhaps I’ll write here again here one day. Only God knows.