Intense (part 1 of 2)
So this past week was my third of four week-long intensives for my training to become a certified spiritual director. One of the main tangential things I have learned is that when they call it an ‘intensive’, they’re not screwing around. Oftentimes we start at 7:30 AM and go until 9:30 PM or sometimes even 10. These are crazy long days.
Even though I am learning more than I can imagine, sometimes it is so much that I can’t assimilate it all. Actually, sometimes it is so intense that I can’t even feel God in it all; I am just too tired and busy trying to take everything in.
So on Sunday, they do give us a Sabbath time. From lunchtime until the very next day, we have free time to do with what we wish.
My confession is that much of that time was used up by me sleeping. But even between naps there was still time for me to head down by the falls. I find that being by that water grounds me and helps me to be in the moment and forget everything else. It was cold inside the monastery so I left the building wearing a long sleeved shirt. But the closer I got to where I was going the more I realized how very warm it was outside. By then it was too late to go back in and change shirts. So instead, I did my usual Dion things and started both beating myself up and also feeling sorry for myself for wearing the wrong clothes. I was simply too warm to really enjoy myself.
On top of that, I forgot it was Sunday and therefore a very popular tourist day for the falls. So when I got there, I found myself in the midst of about a zillion people walking around on one fairly narrow path. So here I was on my mobility scooter, unable to turn around or get off the path, stuck in pedestrian traffic and feeling hot.
And this was supposed to be my rest day!!!
I was ticked at myself and there was nothing I could do about it.
But then it happened. Thick mist from the falls was blowing right where I was. It was literally like it was raining on a sunny day. The massive crowds instantly disappeared as no one wanted to get wet. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I coasted through the mist easily until I ended up beside the river up from where the water goes over the edge. I realized two things; i) that the mist had cooled me down and ii) that I was no longer stuck amidst the crowds. My grumpiness from being too hot as well as stuck in pedestrian traffic was gone.
When I looked back at the mist over the falls I saw the famous rainbow from the mist.
As soon as I saw it I had a clear impression that I needed to pay attention. The rainbow in the story of Noah was a sign of a message from God. In this case I felt like God was trying to communicate to me. That was important as the week was so crazy busy leading up to that point that I barely sensed God at all. I had also been struggling with my health and was wondering if God actually cared about any of that.
So my sense is that God was sending me a message through that rainbow. I believe I was to hear God say that while He doesn’t really care about if I’m too hot or stuck in traffic, She does care that I know that She’s paying attention to me and is with me at every moment of the journey.
So I’d say it was a good Sabbath after all.