The ego is one of the great barriers to the spiritual life; and spontaneity is its arch enemy. Dangling like this tear-drop emerald, the ego sits engorged and angry-drunk on a make-shift throne like a twelve-foot slug on a velvet love-seat.
Spontaneity, on the other hand, is, I believe, a handmaid of the Holy Spirit. She is thin, lithe, energetic, naturally and simultaneously cheerful and awake. She moves like a dancer and has the voice of Vanessa Redgrave – calm and strong, deep and feminine, sultry and elegant, agenda and yet still lilting. She can bi-locate and, in my imagination, she has, well… a wand.
To allow spontaneity into one’s life as a companion to the soul is to welcome the reality of change and readies one for the delight of the moment to moment co-creativity in which God is busy around and within us. The ego creates what it wants and welcomes little with even less imagination.
Last night a storm moved in to the east coast grounding western flights. Spontaneously, friends grounded were in need of a meal tonight. In moments a dinner I had planned for four tonight became a dinner for eight. Suddenly, freezer food began to dance in my head as recipes and menus formed while I began to realize that the dinner I had planned for four was needing to change to a new dinner for eight. Cauliflower cheese soup could be an easy starter. A roast beef and twice baked potato could replace plans for a mushroom risotto. The fruit desert planed would need to be switched out for a thick dark chocolate cream with orange liquor and the table will need both leaves installed. In seconds, in the chapel after evening prayer, spontaneity was pushing ego back into its cages, lovingly, kindly and with a wink of mischievousness.
To allow spontaneity into our lives is to unseat the ego which demands that what we think we want for ourselves, what we think we have planned, what I think is best for me, myself and I – is to be. Because in the end, I am convinced that the best definition of hell might be little more than an eternity of getting what we were so sure we thought we wanted. And heaven may be the Kingdom of God extended – an eternity of new.