If this is what the center is like, what’s it like on the edges
At the end of 2005 my spiritual director said to me, ”I want you to consider going to see Fr. Richard Rohr when he speaks at Holy Family in Inverness.” Now I had heard of Fr. Rohr and I think I may even have read something of him, but I really couldn’t remember what it was. I think I liked it. But if my spiritual director said go and do something I trusted her and was confident that it was the right thing to do.
My spiritual director and I had covered many ideas and drilled into my thoughts and beliefs on God and His presence in my life. It helped me to better understand, what I was in my own way trying to define and recognize in my life. I was really asking questions one has in the second half of life. I was beginning to realize the God of my first half of life wasn’t holding up very well anymore. I was experiencing an internal urging to look closer for God.
On the day Fr. Richard was speaking my wife and I went to hear what he had to say. We were both open minded and very willing to listen to what Fr. Richard had to say. In fact I think it was safe to say we’re looking to hear the answer. I confess I don’t remember exactly what he was talking about. It sounded good and I wanted to hear more. However, after lunch the guys went to the breakout room and the wives got to hear more from Fr. Richard. I WANTED TO HEAR MORE OF FR. RICHARD. Instead I had to go to the breakout room and listen to the up-sell. Oh, well might as well get it over with. At least the guys could go back for the closing session.
Back at the breakout session we started slow. The table I was assigned to was missing about half of the guys. They went home after lunch? Not the start one would have expected. I felt a little bad for the table captain. As he talked I found myself being drawn into the call. When we finished the breakout I was ready to sign up for this thing called the MROP.
As I settled into Ghost Ranch and waited to get started I couldn’t help think about the last 5 months since I last heard Fr. Richard. I had done all of my homework. Read everything that we were supposed to do. I surely would have gotten an A+ for my work. I was ready to tackle the next assignment. Looking at that moment now over 10 years later I now know how naïve I was. My MROP was an awakening to the world around me.
What I was looking for in the distance was here in me. In the time since my MROP I have learned to go into myself and journey to the edges when I do. I continue to look deeper and explore with the writings from Fr. Richard. My centering journey continues to open new insights and understandings.
I am thankful for following the journey that started at my MROP. It is worth the time and effort. For me it has been a great ride and I look forward to many years of journeying deeper.