So begins David Adam’s book A Desert in the Ocean – God’s Call to Adventurous Living. * It heads my list of new canon, because virtually every sentence impacts me, makes me want to run out my front door – to act and to be.
Adam posits that adventure does not take us out of the world, but more deeply into it, and not just into the physical world, but into the spiritual as well. For the Celtic view is that there are not two separate worlds – the mystic & the mundane – instead, heaven and earth are inextricably interwoven, so that exploring one leads us naturally into the other.
Adam states “A slight shift in where we stand and the world beyond reveals itself to us.” I’ve found that to be true. I have seen ‘the other side’ – usually only glimpses, but sometimes a clear, if fleeting, view. I can’t describe it, of course, not directly, because human language is inadequate. It’s not about the input of eyes, ears, nose or hands. It’s about what the heart sees. What the soul sees. What that part of us that extrudes beyond the mere physical experiences and explores.
I find myself speaking in metaphor or in parable, trying to describe what I’ve seen. Jesus did the same. Now I understand that he wasn’t trying to be abstruse. He was doing his best to communicate as clearly as he could. Where direct description finds itself mute, poetry and other lyrical language may successfully speak.
Adam’s book is a call to action. It even includes exercises at the end of each chapter to help us to open ourselves to God’s call to life adventurous. It exhorts, it inspires, it pushes us in the direction of the divine. The loopy script of Spirit clearly flows from Adam’s pen. Just like all Scripture, it is inspired and inspiring, current canon for a contemporary world.
* Its American tagline reads: The Spiritual Journey according to Brendan the Navigator. I got my copy at Iona Island in Scotland.