|Stories: Helping us Understand
the Great Initiations of Life
We enjoy stories for what they bring to us.
Words and images catch us.
Our imaginations are drawn into the great struggles of life.
We enjoy hearing stories over and over again.
Sometimes we are seeking some truth.
We enjoy the connections we get from our ancestors--
their experiences are similar to ours and
we can empathize.
What makes stories so enjoyable are their instructive
values about living life.
And the most enjoyable stories are those we
never quite understand.
We get the story-line and the words
resonate deep within us.
Stories many times share with us what happens
but leave us in the dark as to why.
We invoke our imaginations and life-stories
to try and put the pieces together in some coherent way.
We find our way into stories either by following along and
soon we are caught by its enchantment.
Or something leaps out at us unexpectantly and
we are hooked.
As we listen we bring our own images, emotions,
and memories forward.
Soon, we find the story living within us.
Various parts of the story take on parts of our personality.
Usually we are carrying out the functions of our daily lives.
Life seems to be moving in a good direction.
Then we notice that we are beginning to be pulled in a
direction we never expected. It is not our choice!
However, we are been drawn.
Usually the groundwork is being prepared for
a profound initiation. A huge storm is coming our way.
The Man Watching
As these great storms touch our lives, the Holy Spirit
deepens us, shapes us and disciples us.
Whenever the Holy Spirit is about to do an initiatory work
in our lives, we will begin to experience
sudden breaks in life occur,
we don't understand what is taking place and
we become disoriented.
We are changed from what we were before--
either we have been gripped by some great event or
plunged into a darkness we have never known before.
These storms usually come in two forms:
One is an ascent of fire and
the other is a descent of water.
In an ascent of fire we are pulled by the hands of spirit.
Our lives "break out", we open up and the
fire comes right through us.
We charge ahead, ignore questions,
take on enormous risks and dangers.
Our vision is heated, and we are impatient.
We are pulled into the great contests of our time.
We take on the great conflicts with heated energy.
We might never get off the ground without this fiery energy.
We can't soar forever. Eventually we descend to the ground.
Sorrows and loses accumulate over time.
Ashes are left from the years of great, burning fires.
The way of water descends:
we experience prolonged periods of loss,
we don't know where we are,
or where we are going,
we travel paths that seem to have no ending,
we are pulled into watery regions.
Our relationships break apart.
Chasms suddenly appear.
Rivers erode solid ground.
The inner connections that made us secure break down.
We feel lost.
Established patterns are dissolved and worn away.
Emptiness grows; life has stopped flowing.
We feel out of touch.
"Things fail apart, the center cannot hold."
W. B. Yeats
A deep lament begins--
we go numb, we dry up, or fall-apart;
we need water, time slows down,
we have lost our purpose in life--
everything looks bleak and empty.
Have you ever felt this way?
The story of The Water of Life is about
the initiatory work of the Holy Spirit around watery storms--
in finding our souls and embracing the downward journey.
Main Index Page
Introduction to the Water of Life Story