The heavy fog this morning reminded me that discernment as a way of seeking and seeing truth is an integration of both mystery and journey. Mystery in that we can not expect to really see clearly because truth is multifaceted, complex, and diverse and is seen through journey:
This morning as I was leaving home, I knew the truth that the bank of the river behind my house is lined with willow trees. The hints of verdant life to come had begun to emerge as the sounds of spring peepers, the warming of the air, the early spring flowers blooming, the lengthening of day and the texture of awareness gave it shape.
So, drawn to the sound of Shoemaker River, I focused on the trees, their familiar shape through the thick fog. As in the multiple senses of the word I “journeyed” nearer, I noted that the whiteness of fog gave way to the wonder of mystery, not clarified until I was more fully present to the trees.
Then I noticed the white caterpillar-like blossoms, as thick as the fog now shimmering on the branches, a truth given by creation whose timing is complex and could only be experienced in a multifaceted, multi-sensory way.
It is then, in the journey we are invited to explore (“seek, knock, ask”) that the movement of our being to engage in life around us unfolds. We are drawn to or given to “see” mystery before us and in us. In other words, mystery and movement of life in season (“for everything the is a season”) must be journeyed toward and through as we discern truth.
—Kevin A. Clark is Campus Pastor and Assistant Professor of Spiritual Formation and Direction, Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Ordained by the Virginia Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA in 1996, he was pastor of Big Spring Mennonite Church, Luray, Virginia, 1996-2004. Clark is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and board member of Blue Ridge Ministries, Inc., an interdenominational retreat ministry located in the Shenandoah Valley.