The second path is without a doubt the most agonizing of the four paths.
We feel as though we are in a small boat on a stormy sea - terrified, exhausted, fragile. The winds and water lash us as we are tossed about in a gray, horizonless, directionless world. Is help coming?
On the first path, we chose to thrust ourselves directly back into our greatest fears and insecurities. Now, on the second path, they fight back.
Although we are in a time of great discovery, our revelations happen in an environment of terrific emotional and spiritual trial.
The bleak condition in which we find ourselves now is precisely the same condition in which the early Christians of Rome in the middle of the first century found themselves - lost, alone, struggling to have hope.
Falsely condemned for setting the great city on fire, the Emperor Nero ordered the execution of all Christians and their families. They turned to the Gospel of Mark for consolation. So may we.
Question: How do we move through suffering?
Emotion: Feelings of isolation, abandonment
Time: Late evening to dawn
Gospel Metaphor: Crossing Mark's Stormy Sea