~During this month, I will have guest blogs from friends, family, and loved ones about how My Mended Heart has impacted them. Today's blog is written by my friend Howie Soucek. I hope you enjoy!~
When I went out onto my patio early this morning, I experienced my usual discipline of first noticing that as soon as I was comfortable, my thoughts became consumed by all the worldly concerns that my egoic self tends to dwell upon—things to plan for, things that concern me, hypothetical scenarios, things that are wrong, bad, or offensive, the pandemic and financial crises, and the abundant ignorance and foolishness in the world (including my own). Most of this kind of thinking is the resultof my natural human inclinations for worry, fear, anger, self-pity, impatience, judgment and blaming, guilt, self-righteousness, resentment, and anxiety (all being manifestations of defensive, destructive self-ishness).
Then suddenly, I remembered what my purpose was and always is in sitting on my patio each morning, facing east at daybreak: I yearn to en-Joy the peace that comes ofmy developing relationship with God. I commune with Him spontaneously many times each day, but it is in the early morning that I am especially deliberate in opening myself to and sensing His presence, which is and has already been with me all along, yearning for the same relationship with me.
My next step is to realize that my purpose for being there on the patio is defeated to the extent I allow my egoic self to control my thoughts. So, immediately I turn to face God (in the process of which I coincidentally and effortlessly turn my back to my worldly concerns). And while it is easy to describe what it is to dwell with worldly concerns, it is beyond the capacity of the human brain to understand (much less to describe) what it is to dwell in the presence of God, but you KNOW it, nonetheless.
This process of consciously turning to God is one I have to deliberately exercise every time I go out there (and repeatedly so), for the press of worldly concerns is as constant as it is powerful.
All of this can be represented by the notion that it was well for my Dad to goto his one-room schoolhouse as a little boy“with a clean slate” each day. It can be represented also by the sailors’ admonishment to “Clear the decks!” before conducting any important activity on board.
The same point is made evenbetter in Micah’s new book, My Mended Heart. As I was thinkingabout citing and commenting on this blog about a few of her thoughts, my experience this morning on the patio pointed me to something in her introduction (“A Note to the Reader”) that is foundational for us all as we wend the Way shown us for our journey ever-closer to God.
Micah explained that a friend told her out of the blue, “You need to get out of your head, Micah.” I view this advice as an elegantly simple summary of my first four paragraphs above. It also represents something that I, and likely all of us, must be disciplined to do repeatedly—every day—gradually getting better and better at it.
Micah’s book gives me the comfort that comes ofa powerful resonance—a resonance possible only by sharing life in relationship. While weall experience and express things in different ways, let’s recognize that they are the SAME THINGS nonetheless; things such as joy and pleasure, pain and suffering, toiling over our worldly responsibilities, learning and growing, and finding rest and comfort. The most important and sublime of all, however,is lovingGod, each other, and all of our Creation-gift. Oursis to share all of this with each other as best we can and in the different ways that we each have been blessed with, remembering that “In the sending comes the mending”—another ironic truth in My Mended Heart.
Thus, as we read and re-read Micah’s wonderful book, we must first “Get out of our head!”
Written by Howie Soucek