Speak to the Universe

Every year as spring melts away into summer, I start planning my escape to a cooler climate back to South Dakota, perhaps, or maybe the Northeast. I can handle long winters with cold temperatures and scant daylight. But stand me outside in an Arkansas summer and I will slip into a pit of despair, fueled by images of global ecological catastrophe.
In the grip of this climate-fired melancholy, I find myself once again asking the questions clergy always ask of themselves. Do I belong in this job? Did I misunderstand God’s calling? Why does so much of my work feel like failure? What do I want to be when I grow up?
I voiced these questions to a friend last night. Her response was simple: answer those questions aloud. “Speak them to the universe,” she said. “Give them voice and make the answers real, then see if they return to you carrying opportunity.”
I’m just intrigued by her advice. It had not dawned on me before that dealing with life’s bigger questions may not be so much a matter of locating answers, but of sending our answers out to see how they return. She is suggesting a sort of spiritual echolocation. We find our way in the dark by sending it ur dreams, letting them bounce off unseen obstacles and opportunities and return to us with news. Or better, with some unexpected possibility.
When God set about in making the universe, the story says, he spoke it into being. His voice went into the void, and the result was a good and very good creation.
My voice will never call matter into being or separate light from dark. But perhaps there is some of that creative energy yet within us humans, created as we are in God’s image. Perhaps by speaking my dreams into the universe, I can at least locate some of what is now hidden from my about my place in the world. I’m working up the courage to do so, and I’m taking my time just in case it works.

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