The spiritual journey is not a race. It is a journey that we walk our entire lives. Sometimes it is relaxing and we spend time slowly walking through our life enjoying and relishing the moments. Then there are those moments when it feels like and endurance race…
Having just arrived at the Washington Monument in a nick of time to save his friends (stuck dangling in an elevator at the top of the monument), Spider-man must scale the outside of the monument to save them. Karen (the voice of his spider-suite) gives him updates as he climbs:
Karen: Estimating 10 minutes before catastrophic failure….. Safety systems are completely failing…The occupants are in imminent mortal danger….
Spider-man: I’m going as fast as I can.
He keeps climbing as fast as he can. But because the security guards are attempting to get the class out of the elevator, Karen’s next update is extremely distressing for Spider-man.
Karen: You now have 125 seconds until catastrophic failure.
Spider-man: What? Why?
Karen answers him explaining that unexpected motion has changed the timeline.
Spider-man: How do I get in there?
Karen: Activating recognizance drone. (A small spider shaped drone comes off the spider-suit.)
Spider-man: Whoa. Has that been there this whole time? That’s awesome!
Karen locates the optimal entry point: Proceed to southwest window.
Spider-man: Karen, I’m on my way.
He continues to climb as fast as he can…
The Spiritual Journey
Let’s talk about those moments when our spiritual journey feels like an endurance race. We feel like there is a ticking clock that we must complete our task before the timer runs out. It feels overwhelming. Often we feel alone in these moments. We decide that we must accomplish this task on our own, overwhelming us even more. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves shutting down, giving up, stopping in despair.
This is not how Spirit invites us to engage in our spiritual path in these moments, when the challenge set before us seems so huge. Although to us, we perceive a set deadline by which we must accomplish our tasks, this is not the case for Spirit. We, in our humanity, in our finite understanding and experience of time, have defined the experience this way.
Somehow, no matter how much time we perceive, there is always more than enough time for us to succeed and accomplish our task. This, for me, is Spirit time. It is an experience of Spirit shifting time so that we can accomplish what we need to succeed. Most often it is an internal shift within us, like oh we don’t need to stress. There is plenty of time.
Driving a car, an example:
Have you ever noticed that when you are running late and stressed about it, it hit every red light. Anything that can slow you down happens and you end up later than you wanted to.
However, if you are running late and you decide to relax, like "Ok, so I will be late." There is an inner peace within you. You are not stressed about it. If you make it, you make it -- if you are late, you are late. Oh well.
In those moments, have you noticed that you seems to hit the green lights. Everything flows. A drive that should have taken 15 minutes takes 10 minutes and you arrive on time?
I decided one month to do an experiment and consciously be aware of my inner state when I was running late. If I was successful at the relaxed, oh well state of mind, I always arrived in plenty of time or exactly on time. When I was stressed, I consistently late, apologizing, feeling bad about myself.
This is Spirit time.
If we trust Spirit, release our own pre-determined, pre-oriented time expectations, somehow Spirit makes it work well.
This means that all we need to do in those times of our spiritual journey when we feel we are in an endurance race, is to step back. Reassess. Allow our perspective to shift enough so that we feel that inner-peace — that everything will be alright and work out in the end sense. When we connect into that, we will have the endurance and the ability to succeed at our task, to overcome whatever is in front of us, to walk our life path with confidence and vitality.
If we can connect into that inner-peace, even when our life path feels like a race, we are able to stop and smell the roses. We are able to notice the blessings along the way. The support that is around us, encouraging and cheering us on becomes more palpable. We never run out of breathe or energy. A confidence in our choices, in Spirit’s guidance, in our steps arises within us.
If we can connect into that inner-peace, that everything will be alright and work out in the end — we disconnect race from endurance. We allow ourselves to realize and believe that our spiritual journey is not a race. We recognize that we have the strength to endure all that comes onto our path because there is always enough time, enough energy, enough wisdom, enough vitality within and around us.
I invite you to once again reflect upon your spiritual journey, upon your life journey, and notice all the times where Spirit guided you, uplifted you, gave you the strength to endure.
How did Spirit boost your endurance?
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.