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Where are you going?

The other day, I wrote about going to a dinner and worship service at Yale Divinity School as part of an assignment to make a pilgrimage to a sacred space for a class in English Spirituality and Mysticism I’m currently taking. I’ve been thinking a lot about the words of Walter Hilton, from one of the assigned texts for this week. “I am nothing. I have nothing. I seek one thing.”

It came to mind as I drove to the transfer station. What if we thought of every trip we take, no matter how small or mundane, as part of a spiritual pilgrimage. What if we managed to see each place we visit as a sacred space? Could we approach the town transfer station this way?

“I am nothing.” How contrary this is to the message of today. What if, instead of focusing on people who talk about how great they are and how great they are going to make everything, we focused on Walter Hilton, “I am nothing”?

This is not about self-loathing or denying any of what is great about ourselves, it is simply putting it into perspective. It is counting everything we are and have as nothing compared to the surpassing value of being as compassionate as possible. I’ve written in a secular sort of way in hopes that it will resonate with friends that don’t have much use for religion, but Christians may recognize it as a paraphrase of Philippians 3:8.

“I seek one thing”. What is that one thing you seek? I seek? Perhaps some of the answer is, “I’m not really sure”. That’s okay. Perhaps some of the answer is, to try and put it into some sort of secular spirituality, to become one with all compassion. Perhaps some of the answer to put it into the language of Walter Hilton, is to be recover our imago dei, to recover how we are created in the image of God.

Where are you going?

Postscript: As I prepared to post this on my blog, a few associations came to mind. “By My Side” from Godspell came to mind,

Where are you going?
Where are you going?
Can you take me with you?
For my hand is cold
And needs warmth
Where are you going?

as did, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

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