Friday, 30 November 2007

Certainty and doubt

It is not my present tendency towards preoccupation, nor is it preoccupation itself that enlivens my perception.
Indeed, that predisposition and the absorption to which it inclines, though aiming me in the right direction, has its own way of blinding my heart and mind by encouraging me to gaze blankly at the brilliance of the light. I am blinded by it, and find myself going nowhere in the disintegration of what I had thought to be a deeper search.
The gentle coalescing of an ever-growing belief that all in life - that which is gone, that which is presently around and within us, and all that is still to come – is relevant to the steps we make or fail to make on our spiritual journeys, brings a deepening of that belief but is not what makes it real for me.

That gift derives from an infrequent but recurring certainty that stops and holds me with the power of its revelation, leaving me in no doubt that life is governed and led by something completely beyond my own comprehension. The certainty is fleeting, and its recurrence in no way embeds a memory of what it is about which I feel certain, but each moment leaves a distinctive and compounded effect on my own presence within myself.
Experience is not the right word, but though the occurrence may be experienced differently each time, there is a realization that the happening itself is the same and is being repeated. The entire experience is encapsulated in each of those moments; I am stopped and I am, as it were, turned around to look back at where I have just been.

Being unexpectedly brought up short is the effect of knowledge gained through looking back at the now more clearly illuminated path. It is the consequence of having been touched by that ungraspable certainty, when the provision is of a conviction which clearly opposes every anticipation. In my own life these moments have centred on a seemingly endless uncertainty as to what I am required to do: whether I should step forward or remain in the background, speak up or maintain an inconspicuous presence in which continued silence at times feels burdensome.

Certainty and uncertainty walk together in our lives.
Do we speak out or do we hold our tongue? Which will dominate our inner doubt, the blazing torch or the glowing ember?
The safety of inaction tugs at our conscience in face of deeds we dare not risk, while the wisdom of truth and the folly of lies entangle and begrime our friendships and the fractured unity of mankind.

Life may be governed and led by something completely beyond our interpretation, but it provides no foregone conclusion.
Fatalism is dispersed on the winds of its total freedom, while it lays its awesome gift at our feet. That gift is the very same freedom: access to all or nothing, and it is there to be claimed by each one of us, as blessing or curse. It is beyond comprehension but the availability of its gifts is not beyond our own influence. Within the freedom laid down before us is the outline of the path we are to tread; we see it or not, we follow it or not. It leads straight to the heart of the light that blinds our worldly understanding, and, when those moments of certainty arise, we have a glimpse of undistorted truth and of undefiled direction in our lives. A single moment of clarity reveals the trace of the path right back to our earliest days.

I have said that these rare moments stop and hold me with the power of their revelation, with the impact of what has amounted to a complete reversal of my intended course of action. Conviction and confidence resulting from lengthy deliberations and eventual decisions, have been swept away in an instant, leaving a clear understanding that that which I had been about to do was an entirely wrong course of action, and that the complete opposite was required of me.
At first this is quite unnerving, and finds me thinking I shall be unable to make any worthwhile judgements in the future, but within hours I have settled into the happy realization that such moments are increasing the likelihood of future decisions being the right ones. I am left in the warmth of the ever increasing awareness of being guided along my path, and am humbled by my flawed assessments of my world, and by God’s timely prevention of my misguided words and deeds.
I am His, and in my longing to do His will He assures me that He will not let me go.

“… the word that goeth from my mouth …will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do.” (Isaiah 55:11)

Our way may be narrow, but if we strive to keep to it regardless of the ease with which we can be pulled down and diverted from it, it becomes clear that it is plenty wide enough, even when we are carrying our greatest burdens.
It is memories of our failures and of what we continue to regard as our unforgivable mistakes that make the path too narrow for us, particularly when God has already placed such things behind us.
Lay all such things at his feet, repent, and leave them there. You may have been carrying them for years; lay them down, not for a rest or to adjust your grip on them, but to let go of them completely. Then stand, brush the dust from your knees and leave them behind as you learn to delight in the road ahead. It is then that you may come to know you have not simply been touched and left, and you have not been grasped at some point, only to be released and allowed to fall away. So long as you have no wish to break free, the touch is ongoing and the grasp is for life.

You are now one of The Held. God holds you fast.
He has claimed you as His own.

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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