Tuesday, 16 January 2007

A precarious position

As soon as I begin to think too hard, everything goes wrong!
For the most part, what I have written here to date has flowed easily from my mind and heart, but today I have found myself struggling.
I have an idea of where I am heading, but it is a battle to find words that even approach the thoughts I wish to convey.
Experience tells me I am no longer allowing myself to be guided in the ways that led me to begin this stream of words. I am trying to drag some sort of sense from the sterile themes that rise entirely from my own mind, instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me, to use me, to raise awareness through me.

Do I not also question the actuality and the truth of this supposed guidance?
Frequently! But years of faith confined have nurtured this faith set free.
At last I feel able to discern between the prompting of the Power that loves, and longs to save us, and that which would subdue me, and destroy my every good intention before I can utter a word.
I am further convinced that I am rambling in a meaningless way, by the realization that I have been rushing to produce something for posting on a particular date, the 17th January: a date on which memorable things have happened during my own spiritual journey.
A date I am trying to mark and commemorate for nothing other than personal reasons.
I am wandering from the path laid out for me, and I thank God for enabling me to journey far enough to become aware of my own wrong directions.
This is not where I am supposed to be, and this was not where I was supposed to be taking you.
Becoming increasingly verbose without appreciably drawing closer to the point, is a sure sign of trying to promote my own thoughts rather than those inspired by the Spirit: the Spirit who yearns for our acceptance and trust.

I am posting here the words I struggled with immediately before writing the above.
Should you care to read them, and by chance follow where I was going, then I am glad.
Otherwise, may they serve to demonstrate how easy it is to wander from the narrow way, especially when forgetting that the powers striving for the negation of all that is good in the world, only have to distract to undermine or subtly neuter the truth.
How apt my opening words turned out to be: - “Lacking awareness, we live precariously.”

Lacking awareness, we live precariously.
When becoming aware, we awaken a consciousness of our position but not necessarily of the dangers; we remain in a precarious position.
With the growth of awareness, we see more clearly the surface detail around us; we tend towards confidence in our assessment of our own lives, our judgment of others, and our place in the world, and, as we increasingly recognize the existence of something “other” - the presence of that something we may still not call God, and which we have, as yet, no idea nor thought of acknowledging - we hold it, as it were, at arm’s length.
We do this without thinking.

Effortlessly, we make and consistently maintain a new boundary: a new angle to our inbuilt sense of personal space.
If God’s presence rises a little in our consciousness, we gently ease it back: we simply return it to the other side of this line.
Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, this boundary goes with us. It does not get in our way, and it does not interfere; it soon becomes a normal and everyday part of our life.
As we move through the world, it traces a parallel path, a little to one side of us, but tracking us every inch of the way.

In defining a boundary we created a barrier.
Of our own devising it may be, but likely we have failed to comprehend the reasons behind our need for its construction.
Some boundaries have clearly become barriers; witness those between Mexico and the U. S. A., and between North and South Korea.
Some barriers are defiant and obvious. The Berlin Wall was. Israel’s Separation Wall in Palestine is.
The one we have conjured from within ourselves is far more subtle; we try to keep it out of sight and out of mind, and very much to ourselves, but -
One day, something happens, and the barrier begins to crumble.
However we struggle, we are unable to keep this all-pervading Presence out of our lives any longer.
As the wall disintegrates beside us, we find ourselves being knocked and buffeted by falling stones.
Viewed through another’s eyes and emotions, the obvious solution would be to turn completely away from it: to put distance between us and the source of our discomfort, but we are unable to do so. That apparently straightforward and easy option may not even occur to us.

Instead, we jump up onto the rubble, away from the rolling debris at its sides.
The boundary line we had been holding at arm’s length now runs right through us.
We try to deny it, but it is undeniable.
It has become unavoidable, and, though for some it may be instantly beautiful, for many of us it will be increasingly uncomfortable.

Perhaps for the first time, we know ourselves to be right on the edge of something; as though on the verge of a discovery.
It may seem inevitable; a certainty that will come to pass leaving us forever on the other side of the line, but this is not such an edge.
This is not like the approach of midnight on New Year’s Eve; this is not that kind of unavoidable edge. (see 1st January post)
This is the product of a boundary we marked out for ourselves: a boundary upon which we constructed a now collapsed barrier.
We stand atop the ruins, finding ourselves frighteningly perched upon the crest of a ridge.
On either side the ground slopes away from us in a mass of loose rock and scree.
The only safe ground appears so far away, beyond the ever narrowing ridge that stretches before us, higher, sharper, and more debilitating with each step and with each thought.
A precarious place to be.

“May God grant me to speak as He would wish
and conceive thoughts worthy of the gifts I have received …”
(Wisdom 7:15)

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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