How an ordinary person awakens to life as prayer. Continued from yesterday . . .
In the desert, I was stripped down to nothingness. No one knew me. My degrees, my accomplishments, my skills meant nothing to these monks. And no one who mattered to me really knew where I was. I had come to the edge of the known world, maybe even stepped off the edge, and for all intents and purposes I was dead. I could do nothing for those I loved back home and for all I knew they were getting along quite well without me. Here in the desert, I had nothing to offer that mattered. There was nothing I had to do, nothing I had to be. And there was nowhere I could go to win back my sense of significance.
I descended into a desperation I had not known was possible. A terror in my sense of nothingness. The kind of terror that’s only possible in the desert where you are stripped of all the props that hold you up, all that’s dogged your every step. My fears and insecurities, my ambitions and idiosyncrasies had hounded me for all these long years and the desert was now killing them, but I didn’t yet know this as an act of grace. I felt like I was dying.
More tomorrow . . .