Swamps have something to teach us


Lake Charles, LA

Tuesday, March 4, 2009

Dear Friends,

My retreat is in its final day now.

I don’t at all like this swampy wilderness.  It’s so bleak, uninspiring; makes me feel depressed.  We walk above it on the catwalk.  The swamp connotes the stagnation, the stuck-ness of life.  I said the other day that sin is stuck-ness.  Not growing.  Not moving.  And one might ask the question: Am I in a swamp?  Is my life not going anywhere?  Is there no place to get a firm footing?

So, let’s think about that.  Where are we stuck in life?  Where’s the stagnation?
What do we need to do to paddle our canoe out of the swamp onto the river of life again and start flowing downstream.

And here’s a thought for you:  Heaven is down, not up; that is, if you apply the metaphor that life is flowing like a river.  Rivers flow down to the sea.  The ocean is a symbol for the mystical life, eternal life, the “the Other Side of Silence” as Morton Kelsey calls it in one of my favorite books.

So, figure out what’s needed to get you unstuck and flowing again.

And if it looks like you’ll be stuck for a while (as our economy will be) then . . . well, um, learn to live it / grow with it / find life while we’re waiting / talk with the people we’re stuck with.  And most of all, learn how to love the one’s we’re with.

And don’t let the frickin’  mosquitoes get you!

Tomorrow I’ll segue over to the desert and we’ll reflect on the “real deal” of why Jesus spent forty days in the desert.

I’ll be on my way back to Florida after a very fruitful retreat.  Thanks for your prayers.

With love,

Bob Traupman

priest / writer

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