Discernment, Dreams, I Sing the Body Electric

A Bag of Campaign Memorabilia

I decided on two forms of Advent practice. One is represented by a ticker in the sidebar here, and it is a commitment to matter, to keep moving through Advent despite the challenges of doing so in a busy season. I’m close to a weight goal I established several months ago as being perhaps reachable by the end of the year, but I realize that the temptations of this festive season of the year might make it more difficult, particularly in combination with the early darkness that grows more profound each day as we work our way toward darkness around 4 p.m.

But there is also an inner life, and my dreams have been vivid, and I determined to make recording my dreams, or at least reflecting on them, an Advent practice. It seems fitting, as we move toward the texts of Advent 4 and the Sunday after Christmas, in which Joseph responds to his dreams.

Last night I had a dream about sorting through boxes of things that belonged to my parents. There was more to the dream, but here is what I feel moved to write about this morning. One of the boxes contained bags of campaign memorabilia emblazoned with my maiden name. My father was a politician, so in some ways that’s not an entirely unlikely thing to find, although in this case the materials looked too new to have been from his career, the buttons too modern. There was my maiden name, Spong, over and over again.

I’ve been contemplating what comes next in my work life, and one of the possibilities is the subject of a meeting tomorrow. It’s an exciting possibility, but also a bit terrifying because it is something new.

I woke this morning asking this question: "What would a Spong do?" I thought about my dad, and my cousin Jack and my grandmother Emily, all bearers of that name, and I realized, "They would step out in faith. They would never cower or fret. They would hear a call and answer it." Not a one of them worried or worries about what others think. They are a picture of courage, a courage based in faith.

Joseph dreamed things that guided him to do the unusual, the unlikely, even the unspeakable in his cultural context. Surely I can take a chance, too?

15 thoughts on “A Bag of Campaign Memorabilia”

  1. You go, girl! If the call is for you…step right up. You will know. Courage to you, and peace.
    And we will be behind you cheering and holding up signs (“SPONG!”)

  2. I like your ideas. one of my challenges is to keep walking (the dog) in the winter weather. We don’t go as far…
    I also like the dream.

  3. You know, Spong could be a verb. “I heard the call, I and just had to spong.” “I was a little nervous about the new possibilities, but once I started sponging, everything was OK.”

  4. Just keep the “g” hard.
    My challenge also is to keep walking the dog, although he will certainly let me know in unpleasant ways if I don’t! The early dark does make it harder, I hope you feel safe outside in your neighborhood as I do (especially with dog who has shown some protective instincts in a gentlemanly way).

  5. Spong is your cousin? As in, Bishop Spong? Songbird….??? Ok, I know he likes to push the envelope….but I agree, I don’t think he worries about who will, or will not, like him.
    Ok, now this part I’d say regardless, “Step out my friend and trust that God is holding you up!” I really hope that if this new possibility is of God, is Spirit-filled, that it is offered to you and you accept…wow.

  6. Yet another reason to be happy that you are my friend…Such an exciting man!
    Can we all “spong” do you think….It strikes me as the right verb for this place and this time too
    (and I’m impressed re your Advent walking plan too – if I do a really hefty hike tomorrow I might catch up, but I suspect I’m unlikely to…alas)

  7. My Spong grandfather married into Methodism. Then my dad married a Baptist. Then I went to Presbyterian Sunday School at the same time I was attending Episcopal day school (that was the Olde Presbyterian Meeting House and St. Agnes, for those who know Alexandria). And then I was confused. All through that time we visited a friend at her summer house in the Berkshires and while there attended the Congregational Church. When I got to Maine, I looked for one. And the rest is history.

  8. WOW. I’m working for a 5 year old church plant as an intern. It’s hard stuff. But incredibly rewarding. I understand the pull to go and do… and yet wanting to be confident that the financial rug won’t be pulled out from under you…
    This will be interesting to ee how it plays out.
    d

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