Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. So when a friend of mine called last Friday night with an invitation to go camping, I said, “Yes.” I felt like I needed a break, that I needed to do something different. I’m not an avid camper, but camping is an activity that puts me way, way out of my comfort zone. It grounds me because it is a “simple” life. You live with the basics, although camping has become much more sophisticated since I was a child. And I was thankful that, on the days when it reached 34°C with the humidity, that we had rented a trailer with air conditioning.

If everything happens for a reason, going camping meant that I needed to get away, that I had to let myself rest without being distracted by e-mail and Facebook and Twitter. I wanted to be in a position to take stalk of life, my life — where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m looking to go. It’s a theme that keeps coming up over and over again. And I’m at a loss.

When I was in Ottawa a short time ago, roaming through Chapters with my good friend, Angela, I stumbled across one of Julia Cameron’s book that I hadn't read. I balked at the title, Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in Our Spiritual Lives, but picked it up anyway. And so, removed from the hustle and bustle of city living — listening to the birds sing their repertoires, fighting off the mosquitoes, floating in the pool — I found myself thinking about faith.

Faith doesn’t come easy to me. It is a daily struggle in fact, a very bumpy ride just like my relationship with God. I want to believe that I am not alone in this world, that there is someone, some thing, bigger than me that is guiding me, walking with me day in and day out. I want to feel that I am on the right path, doing the right things — that I have taken up my true calling.

As I make my way through Cameron’s Faith and Will, there are times, many times, when my throat constricts, when I can feel myself trembling. Why? Because Cameron asks two questions to which I’m struggling to find answers: “How do we make God real? How do we convince ourselves that there is a God that gives meaning to life?”

I don’t feel that there is “meaning to life,” not exactly, anyway. When I say that I’m trying to take stalk of life, that I want to feel that I am on the right path, what I’m really saying is that there is, at present, an overwhelming emptiness swarming over my body, holding me hostage. I’m not just at a loss, I feel lost. So I am trying to have faith again, in God and in God’s love — that His plans for me are perfect. I want to live in that faithfulness.

I will try to have faith, to hang on to the faith that I have. I will try to let God guide me instead of throwing up resistance. I’m not sure where to focus my energy at the moment, and so I feel like my writing, painting and music projects are progressing slowly. And so today I pray for guidance and direction in my professional and personal endeavours, that I may, as we often sang in church when I was young, “Walk by faith and not by sight.”

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