Thursday, September 12, 2013

Liminal Times

“Liminal”…it’s a word that I thought I had imagined as I groped for something to describe "being neither in one place nor in another."  However, recently I have found this word, “liminal,” as I did my usual surfing about the Web, skipping in ADHD fashion from one topic to another.  Finally – confirmation of this word that even sounds tentative. 

I have had many liminal times in my life.  Sometimes it’s a feeling of being completely outside of normal time and space, and other times (usually) it’s only one aspect of my life that’s in a liminal state.  One example of a liminal period is when I wrestled with the idea of leaving the church where I first embraced the Anglican expression of Christian faith.  I no longer felt I belonged there, but neither did I belong anywhere else, yet.  When I think back on that time and other liminal times, the main image I get is one of searching, seeking something, somewhere, but oftentimes not even knowing exactly what I would find.  I think it would be very easy to get lost in such a fog, if there weren’t a guide to walk along with me.  Such a guide would be one with greater knowledge and better sight than mine; otherwise, we’d both simply wander about, lost in this liminal fog.

As I reflect on these times, I find that my guide has been the Holy Spirit.  As I prayed and listened to the Spirit, I was guided to people, books, and yes, even websites that helped me find the direction I needed to take.  In the case of my liminal time between churches, I was advised to visit other churches and “listen to what is being said – and not just the words.”  And with that, the Spirit would gently lead me to the next place that would serve as my spiritual home.

Now, as I did then, I need to reach out to my guide, the Holy Spirit.  I can listen to the Spirit’s voice as I pray, study, worship, and serve others.

When I do so, I won’t get lost.  I'll find my way.

Photo Credit: By Oliver Herold (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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