To be creative we have to think outside the box, but who is inside the box? Suppose it is me? And what if thinking will not get to the me deep within. Part of the process of growing old, I’m discovering, is learning to know and trust my inner self without all the props proposed by folks out side my box trying to tell me how to live inside. The more I know myself the more I know what is true and it doesn’t come by logic. It is spiritual in nature. I do better when I close the doors and windows so I can’t hear the loud, energetic pundits telling me who I am or should be. When I nurture the self I find there and treasure it as a gift from God suddenly I know what is true. Trusting these inner values and experiences of God free me from an addiction to external voices and sometimes even from my own wild, noisy thoughts. This whole process is facilitated by a attending to the teachings of Christ who promised that I can know the truth.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Charlie Wonders why it is so difficult for him to do the simplest thing: be still. That quiet, spaciousness which should come easily, becomes complicated and almost like hard work. Is this some kind of divine joke? Does God get a kick out of watching us “human doings” repeatedly miss the point of just “being”. (“Miss the point” in Bible speak is “sin.”) In a conference for Americans in Mallorca, Spain, we heard our inspirational speaker refer casually to the quiet time he and his wife had each morning. Later, during a Q and A period, one of our colleagues asked, “Dr. Tournier, what do you and your wife do in your quiet time?” Tournier thought and then answered in carefully articulated, broken English, “We be quiet.”
Charlie and the Tourniers
Yesterday Martha and I in our quiet time read, “The language of God is stillness. The rest is a bad translation” (Eckhart Tolle). How could all our chatter about God be otherwise? Did not God say through Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts?” When talking about God all we have to work with are our words, our thoughts. Our best thoughts (opinions) are still just stories we made up or heard from someone else. The Psalmist tries to help us with this when he reports God saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” When I can remember to practice this, I am amazed at the wonderful things I can know: God, my true self and the many mysteries we call “spiritual.” This peaceful quiet doesn’t last long. Soon I have to do something with it--write a blog?