What a terrible dream -- I was leading a retreat and the people who had brought me there were insisting that I use PowerPoint. I had only a few minutes to prepare, to find a way to show the love of God and the possibility of regular prayer in circles, arrows and bullet points.
This dream happened because someone at an upcoming venue had emailed me to ask if I needed any special equipment, and mentioned video, overhead projectors and computers.
If I used Power Point for my retreat, I'd have to dress differently, I know. I'd have to wear a sharp little suit and heels -- I'd have to go and buy one, I guess. There would be a can-do energy in the room, I know, a corporate rah-rah to which I am unaccustomed -- the very things I seek to interrupt. There is no rah-rah in the spiritual life as I have understood it. There is, in fact, the opposite.
We are so productive. So efficient. Such hard workers, arriving early and staying late, making sure we are already here when the boss gets here and that we remain behind after he leaves. Such measurers of our own results -- we are so interested in product. And there is no product to be had in the spiritual life, no way to get ahead.
It is a going home. It is a relationship with a mysterious One who has stayed with us throughout our lives, whom we knew before we had speech, sensed before we had thought. We return to God after what has seemed like a long absence, and soon we begin to understand that we never left. Neither of us will ever leave. Through birth and life and across the threshold of death we will walk together. The only uncertainty about this is whether or not we will allow ourselves to know it is happening.
Let's see....How to put this into bullet points? What kinds of arrows and circles would explain this?
Only halting words can even begin. Only silent listening and wondering, and then more halting words, weak metaphors whose only hope is to come close to what it is. Because, if we could describe and diagram and list God -- that would not be God.