A Ritual To Read To Each Other
If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.~William Stafford
it is 6:39am. and while i have only been conscious today for a short time, i am already less than impressed with some of the thoughts that have been running through my head.
i want to kill the incredibly loud and annoying dog upstairs...
i've worried about what i will wear today...
...trust me, the list goes on, i won't bore you.
then i sat down here, and right next to my computer i left a book open last night. in this book, Simone Weil is walking through the Lord's prayer, going into detail through each phrase. This is what she says about the, "give us this day our deaily bread..." part:
"Christ...is always there at the door of our souls, wanting to enter in, though he does not force our consent. if we agree to his entry, he enters; directly we cease to want him, he is gone. we cannot bind our will today for tomorrow; we cannot make a pact with him that tomorrow he will be within us, even in spite of ourselves. our consent to his presence is the same as his presence. consent is an act; it can only be actual, that is to say in the present. we have not been given a will that can be applied to the future..."i needed to hear this today. i don't think i would ever consciously say, 'okay Jesus, it's time for you to go, i've got other things i need to do now.' but unknowingly, i say it many times a day, with my attitude, the things i choose to let my mind dwell on, the times i choose to worry about what can only be considered trivial in light of eternity, and the list goes on.
i cannot worry about tomorrow, or even later today. i only have this moment to exercise my will and let Jesus in, and i only have this moment not to choose to ask him to leave. thoreau said, "i wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and not when i had come to die, discover that i had not lived.” this is my prayer for this moment.
sadly, this is how i have been feeling lately. being the beginning of a new year, it's naturally a time to look at life & evaluate, and i honestly don't like all that i see. when it comes to living a holy life, my life is still more of a 'don't' than a 'do'. there is still too much anger, pettiness and...well, me in me.
back to the bird...had he given up, stopped working to make his way to a place to land, he would have fallen, probably right in front of my car, and it would have been over. the only way for him to live to was to not give up, even though at times progress was no where to be seen.
this is where i must live. i must continue to wrestle, struggle and fight for holiness, even when the enemy i am fighting is myself.
the alternative isn't an option.