Monday, March 11, 2013

A Spiritual Whim

It was a whim.  Actually, I prefer the adjective, whimsical!  It is more fun to say whimsical.  I doubt that very many people would characterize me as whimsical.  In fact, I usually don’t see myself that way.  But I also know that I can do something “on the whim.”  I cherish that about myself.  I am delighted I have the capacity to be whimsical.

That makes me laugh.  If you look up the word, whim or even the adjective, some of the descriptive words are not ones that I typically associate with myself.  When you look it up, these are a couple of the words to describe being whimsical: capricious and eccentric!  Those are not the normal words I would use to describe myself or my personality.  Probably most people would not self-identify as being capricious and eccentric.

I think many folks see someone who is whimsical as basically crazy or unstable.  Capricious is nothing more than a fancy word for a crazy person!  However, I am unwilling to give up on being whimsical.  Most of the time I am relatively prudent.  Prudent means being wise and normally a reasonable person.  But prudence can be taken too far.  A little whimsy adds some spice to a prudent person.

If you continue looking up the word, whim, you will see a couple other descriptors that I also normally do not associate with my behavior: sudden and erratic.  Again, prudent people are not usually described as sudden and erratic people.  And normally I do not see myself that way.  But you know what, there are times for some sudden and erratic behavior!

And this past weekend was one of those times.  On a whim I decided it was time to jump in the car and go to one of my former homes…my spiritual home.  I don’t really know how many spiritual homes I have had.  It is easier to count up the number of places I have lived a year or more.  But not every place I have lived for a year or more has also become a spiritual home for me.

But the place I lived for so many years before moving to my current home was clearly a spiritual home.  It is a place where I had and still have some deep spiritual roots.  I know the phrase, “you can’t go home again” (which is really the title of a novel by Thomas Wolfe), but my former spiritual home is a place I can go again…and again. 

I know it is a place to which I can go and I know they will be glad to see me.  It is a place to which I can go and know that I will be embraced---literally and spiritually.  It is a “place”---literally and spiritually.  For me it is a Quaker place---a Quaker meetinghouse---that is full of memories.  I helped dream it.  I helped to build it.  I helped paint it.

For me it is a Quaker space.  It’s the people.  They are always welcoming to me.  Some I know.  Some of them I know very well.  Some I don’t know at all.  But I know they will welcome me because the space is always a space of grace.  Who would not want to walk into such a gracious space and be welcomed and be embraced?  To go there is always that kind of grace and gift.

So indeed, it was just such a spiritual whim that drove me to jump in the car and drive to my old spiritual home.  Was that really capricious and eccentric?  Perhaps, but I stand ready to plead guilty because I whimsically did it.  And I thoroughly enjoyed walking into that place, being embraced, and graced!  And I will do it again!  

Maybe it was spiritually whimsical to do such a sudden and erratic thing.  But it was so nurturing and nourishing!  Really, how whimsical is it to go somewhere where people love you?  Know what?  I will do it again…because I am whimsical…spiritually whimsical! 

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