Personal Spirituality Remodel: Demolish and Rebuild

Part 4 of 5 :: Demolish and Rebuild

I am slowly learning that spiritual direction isn’t that bad! Pat is acting as a great contractor/architect duo. He has understood the land, the history, and the minerals present within. He knows where the support beams are and how to provide new support if needed. He has peaked behind the sheet rock to unveil the electricity cable that provides power. The next step Pat embarked on was giving me some different paint swabs to test out. Pat wanted to learn more about my proclivities and understand how I live my life. He accomplished this by giving me a task to try out, baby steps. The next step is for Pat to start to rip out the walls, supports, and flooring. He needs to unpack what has been and start to build a new foundation and walls. Pat gets out his hammer, dust mask, and flat bar to rip out the facade and get down to the studs. The room is dusty, light pours into the dark spaces and reveals hidden items in the wall cavities. On the third meeting I am pretty bare before Pat. I share deep struggles, concerns, theological and spiritual concerns. I trust Pat to see well and start to build up new support A stud at a time. A nail at a time.

I am pretty deconstructed. The debris are all over, not picked up yet, but the sheet rock is no longer on the walls. On the third meeting we start on one part of the house. We are messing with the foundation while the house is still standing. Pat wants to get in, with temporary supports, and teach new ways of experiencing God. Ways that are not a punch list. Ways that are not a to do. Ways that open my eyes to see God at work and to notice spaces where I didn’t notice God’s presence. Pat grabs some tools and materials from his truck, this week we are going to explore using new foundational material under the house to see if it provides a better, more stable, and pleasing support that will impact the entire house.

House Remodel
Photo by Katie & Ian on Flickr

Sitting across from Pat while drinking a, unfortunately lukewarm, mocha I ask what I should do next. I was ready for the punch list. The to do’s. However, Pat, knowing the land and seeing the exposed materials in the wall cavities, said that was just the point. He didn’t want to give me something to do. He wanted to help me see God in the everyday life. Not as something to schedule. Not someone to put in a box. Rather, I was to ask myself where I saw God at work. I guess the paint color was chosen! We are going to the studs and reworking the framing of this house!

For the past few days I’ve been learning about the Ignatian practice, Examen. Pat is giving me a foundational way to understand spirituality as part of my whole life and being. It will permeate the whole foundation and structure. Every stud, beam, foot of concrete foundation, will contain a new way of seeing God in my life and noticing the specific times where I see God active and where I might not have seem Him active. So far I have participated in the practice two times. It has been hard to quiet my mind to really focus (which is what my journal reflection spoke of this week) and pay attention. The work is important and I believe that this new method will have deep meaning and cause for new change in my life. I was able to located an audio recording that helps center me and aims to decrease mind distractions.

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