Spiritual life is Like Rain After a Long Drought

The spiritual story of where we live is about land and water.

We may disagree about politics, but we fight about land and water. As the drought developed over the last few years we slowly began to conserve water. One dry day at a time we came to see water, like our land, is something we needed to protect and share. The drought showed us hard, deep truths. Some people gave up hope for the future.

We live in a place of beautiful beaches and majestic mountains, freeways and deserts. Our home is the home of some of the oldest living things on the planet. We live in a rich, diverse, fascinating community. Everything here depends on land and water.

This winter, after years of drought, the rains have come.

We have learned that while we can be wise, we cannot control the land or the water. There are times when water disappears for years at a time. Sometimes the water suddenly fills spaces, pushing things ahead of it. There are times when the land shakes, when it ripples and twists.

We do what we can, though the land and the water remain beyond our control. We live in a place with an ocean shoreline in danger of running out of water. This is a place where the land sometimes seems to try to shake us off itself.

We like to fool ourselves into forgetting, thinking we are in charge. The water and the land remind us we are not.

The Spiritual Power of Rain and Drought

There are people who believe spiritual life exists to comfort us. Some people depend on spiritual life like a security blanket or a stuffed animal, warm and soft. They like to call on spiritual life when they need it to do the things they want. Living here, I have learned spiritual life is more like an earthquake, like drought and rain.

Spiritual life can be unpredictable. Just when we think we have things sorted out, when we think we understand, everything changes.

We think life is going well, then it does not rain for a few years. It feels like spiritual life has dried up and blown away. Because of the drought, a fire may burn away what we have accumulated. We believe we are becoming stronger or wiser, then a earthquake shakes us to our core. Aftershocks and rockslides continue long after the shaking begins.

Some people tell us where are crazy to live here, that we should move somewhere safe. Spiritual life is not meant to keep us safe. The point of spiritual life is to grow, to be transformed. We become our true selves by exploring and discovering. How will we ever know who we are if we always remain comfortable?

Spiritual life holds onto us in the midst of the storm, in the earthquake.

Are you in a season of spiritual drought, or spiritual storms?

When have you been shaken to your spiritual core?

[Image by Brian Altmeyer]

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