Deepening our Christianity

Saying Yes to God · Deepening our Christianity #21

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Deepening our Christianity

the Monday Newsletter of Paul Prins

Edition #21 · 13 November 2023

Blessings Reader,

Saying Yes to God

I don’t want this reflection to dissuade you. I do understand that my experience is not universal. It may well be a minority experience. I hope that it is the experience of few.

I wish that I could feel joy in this moment. I hear and see the celebration that this erupts in others. In so many ways, that only further isolates and alienates me. It has not been my experience with God. I wish it was my experience. In contrast to their joy, when I say yes to God, I’m lost into a swirling swell of sorrow and loss.

The presence of God is heavy, thick, and here. I am not lost from the divine. It’s just that every yes costs more than the last. That it doesn’t feel fair. Whatever fair might be. This path beneath my feet keeps bringing me to these decisions. I find myself given a choice. This isn’t a choice for salvation. Both paths lead to an eternal dwelling in the Kingdom of God. There is a place for me there.

The decision this time is to abandon all to lead Urban Monasticism. Nearly 4 years in, and it’s time. It’s time for me to let go of even more of myself. For months, I knew this decision would need to be made. I just didn’t know when. Then a day came, and a moment passed. I had decided. Then I fell apart. I broke. I felt my soul crumble and fall. Around me, floods fill my world. Their tides and swells of sorrow, grief, and trauma rise far above my reach. With them a rising cold and darkness.

Time and again, my yes is followed by loss. By a season of intense grief and further losing myself. As if I were being pressed between giant millstones. Demanding I let go of more of who I once was. Squeezing and ringing it out from my marrow. I’ve gotten better at letting go more quickly. It is something that I doubt will ever become natural to me. Broken, I’m here looking at the pieces of myself. Loved, cherished, and broken.

These pieces don’t come back together. They simply wait until I say yes again. Until I am again crushed into smaller pieces. Looking even less like who I remember myself to be.

I am so glad for those who feel joy and celebration when they say yes to God. It is not my lot, and it is not the way laid before me. I know I am in the company of many who have gone before and will come after. Sharing in this experience. I have long wept when the Lord has shown his plans for me. Yet, here I am. Waiting for the swells to calm. I’m waiting for my feet to touch the way again. That I may place one foot before the other.

Until Next Week

Posted since the last Edition

Living Monastic Rhythms

The Gathering of Urban Monastics for November included a conversation on Living Monastic Rhythms. How do we intentionally engage with our days, weeks, months, and years.

Unpublished Photo for this Edition

A Prayer for the Week to Come

Lord, in the midst of our days, be our light and our home. Be with us as we walk the paths you placed before us. Continue to give us hope and comfort as we say yes to the ways you have for us.

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Deepening our Christianity

the Monday Newsletter of Paul Prins

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