Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Stuff that gets in my way for changing in 2010

I was reflecting on my goals for 2010.  As I was thinking about what could get in the way, I came across this from the book The Holy Longing, talking about what gets in the way of the faith that many of us want, but have a tough time achieving in reality.  I don't know about you, but the stuff that gets in the way for me aren't the colossal, immovable road-blocks.  For me it ends up being a combination of a bunch of small stones - little mundane things.  Rolheiser refers to them as the "anti-faith fores"
What are these anti-faith forces? They are not the product of some conscious conspiracy by godlessness. They are, instead, all of those things, good and bad, within us and around us that tempt us away from prayer, from self-sacrifice, from being more communal, from being willing to sweat blood in a garden in order to keep our integrity and commitments, and from mustering up the time and courage to enter deeply into our own souls. Hence they are not abstract, foreign forces. They live in the house with us and are as comfortable to us as a well-worn shoe.
 This part hit me like a ton of bricks:
What blocks faith is that myriad of innocent things within our ordinary, normal lives which precisely make our lives comfortable: our laziness, our self-indulgence, our ambition, our restlessness, our envy, our refusal to live in tension, our consumerism, our greed for things and experience, our need to have a certain lifestyle, our busyness and over-extension, our perpetual tiredness, and our obsession with celebrities, and our perpetual distraction with sports, sit-coms and talk shows. These are the anti-mystical forces of our time.

I've hanged my approach a bit over the past couple of years, in a good way, I think at least. In the past, I would move forward with sheer will-power and try and change every element of my life, while trying to connect with God at a deep level. I was trying to do it all on my own, and failed miserably, beating myself up for not being disciplined enough and tough enough.  Jesus words here made no sense to me:

 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  - Matthew 11:28-30
I've taken the easier route more in the past couple of years, and I'm starting down the path again in 2010. I've spent time doing small things that I can do right now, right where I'm at. Things like spending a few minutes reading my bible, reflecting on god's word and praying in the morning. I start praying that God would meet me where I'm at, fill me and change me. Something strange happens over time. God starts to change me. I don't have the desires to do the things I was doing before. My brain becomes re-wired to respond differently to people and events in my life. My soul feels full, recharged - in a good way. It takes time, and I'm a guy who likes instant results.  We'll see where I'm at in a month.  Seems like a like time to wait....

1 comment:

boxcatav said...

If you figure out how to eliminate the little things, please let me know.