Sunday, February 27, 2011

Examining Inclinations

I do not know how to rid my self of this grouchiness.  I know it has something to do with an unwillingness to let go of something.

 Maybe, that secret entitlement to self, so hard to release?

 "I will behave wisely in a perfect way.  Oh, when will you come to me?  I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." -Psalm 101:2

This is what I want.  Or, I want to want it.  I guess it's safe to say that in actuality, I want a lot of things that I do not need, but somewhere within me, I know that if I ceased craving, so intensely, my own way, and concentrated on perfecting my heart, life would become more manageable.

Do hermits really leave others behind because they're sick of others or rather because they're sick of themselves?  When I'm frustrated and discontent with everyone and every circumstance, could it really be that I'm frustrated with my own lack of growth, discontent in my own skin?   Maybe The Psalmist is saying, when will You do this perfecting I need?  When will you rescue me from my self-defeating striving?

When will contentment overtake me?

"...Watch every word and mood...beware of scattering and spilling; do anything - fall flat on the floor and wait till your valiant soul lifts you to your feet.  ...Your only safety is to be within the center of your kingdom."

-From Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood.  Edited by Mary Strong

God, get me out of the center of my self-made kingdom and into yours. 

Yesterday, I found my gratitude list, torn by a certain baby.  But truth be told, I had not given pen or heart to this list in a while. 

In August, while it was still warm, and while on vacation to our Bed and Breakfast, it was easy to write the words: "So, I gave up friends, yes, but God gave me so much more here.  Two more children, a studio, a happier marriage, Victoria's Vineyard.  Through the cold, the illness, pregnancies, loneliness, fatigue, sorrow and longing, the frozen places were my desert.  He showed me beauty where I thought there was none.  I endured through bitter winds, rode the waves, gave thanks and the sun beat on my back the next day and I praised Him for His warmth. His provisions."

So, praise too, I find myself missing.

God, let me praise You every day for all of this and more.  Thaw my heart as the winter now thaws, so that I may welcome spring rightly.

From The Garden

Come, my beloved,
consider the lilies.
We are of little faith.
We talk too much.
Put your mouthful of words away
and come with me to watch
the lilies open in such a field,
growing their like yachts,
slowly steering their petals
without nurses or clocks.
Let us consider the view:
a house where white clouds
decorate the muddy halls.
Oh, put away your good words
and your bad words.  Spit out
your words like stones!
Come here! Come here!
Come eat my pleasant fruits.

-Anne Sexton

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