The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.
I had a sobering experience last week: I was thrown from my horse, Tasha, while riding with my wife, was taken to the Emergency Department, subjected to every test they could devise, and admitted with a small brain bleed, some cracked ribs, a collapsed lung, and assorted aches and bruises.
During the 6 days I was confined to my bed, many powerful images and concepts arose in conversation and meditation. Interestingly, the more I examined them, the more they took on theological shapes. And, I must admit, they drove me unerringly toward a recovery of soul.
Here, then, are my reflections on theology as taught by a horse:
• The Future is not real – it is a conceptual repository for a limitless variety of potential pathways. The actual choices we make create our reality, which becomes the Present into which we are thrust.
• EVERYTHING in our own reality exists only in the Present, no matter how “good” or “bad” we believe it is. The choices we make NOW shape and narrow the possible “Futures” we may have.
• Nothing except the Present is certain.
• We are, to an overwhelming extent, helpless and dependent. That is, to quote John Dunne with corrections for language, “No [one] is an island, complete unto [him/her] self.”
• Community is crucial, even for those who consciously remove themselves from social contact.
• No one can be prepared for every eventuality, no matter how careful and thoughtful. • Accidents happen FAST and are unpredictable.
For me, recovery of soul meant accepting my addictive need for control and my powerlessness to BE in control. I could not continue to search for a “reason” for my accident, nor could I “blame” anyone or anything. What is, is. My task, apparently, is to learn the lesson(s) that the Universe (through Tasha) has for me.
There is much more to be mined from this experience, and I will keep at it. In the meantime, I am grateful to be alive to mend and ponder and learn. Who would have believed that my most profound teacher could be a horse?
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at May 17, 2007 7:21 PM
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