Repost: Postponing our Real Life

Posted by Bushel Basket in , ,

Postponing Our Real Life

The necessary obligations which we feel we must meet grow overnight, like Jack's beanstalk, and before we know it we are bowed down with burdens, crushed under committees, strained, breathless and hurried, panting through a never-ending program of appointments. We are too busy to be good wives to our husbands, good homemakers, good companions of our children, good friends to our friends, and with no time at all to be friends of the friendless.

But if we withdraw from public engagements and interests, in order to spend quiet hours with the family, the guilty calls of citizenship whisper disquieting claims in our ears. Our children's schools should receive our interest, the civic problems of our community need our attention, the wider issues of the nation and of the world are heavy upon us. Our professional status, our social obligations, our membership in this or that very important organization, puts claims upon us.

We're weary and breathless. And we know and regret that our life is slipping away, with our having tasted so little of the peace and joy and serenity we are persuaded it should yield to a soul of wide caliber. The times for the deeps of the silences of the heart seem so few. And in guilty regret we must postpone till next week that deeper life of unshaken composure in the holy Presence, where we sincerely know our true home is.

from inward\outward
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Hit by an unexpected squall today, thought this was fitting

Posted by Bushel Basket in ,

When Lloyd George, the British statesman, was a boy, one of his family responsibilities was to collect firewood for warmth and for cooking. He discovered early that always after a very terrific storm, with high winds and driving rain, he had very little difficulty in finding as much, and more, wood than he needed at the time. When the days were beautiful, sunny and the skies untroubled, firewood was at a a premium. Despite the fact that the sunny days were happy ones for him, providing him with long hours to fill his heart with delight, nevertheless, in terms of other needs which were his specific responsibilities, they were his most difficult times. Many years after, he realized what had been happening. During the times of heavy rains and driving winds, many of the dead limbs were broken off and many rotten trees were toppled over. The living things were separated from the dead things. But when the sun was shining and the weather was clear and beautiful, the dead and the not dead were indistinguishable.

The experience of Lloyd George is common to us all. When all is well with our world, there is often no necessity to separate the "dead" from the "not dead" in our lives. under the pressure of crisis when we need all available vitality, we are apt to discover that much in us is of no account, valueless. When our tree is rocked by mighty winds, all the limbs that do not have free and easy access to what sustains the trunk are torn away; there is nothing to hold them fast.

It is good to know what there is in us that is strong and solidly rooted. It is good to have the assurance that can only come from having ridden the storm and remained intact. Far beside the point is the why of the storm. Beside the point, too, may be the interpretation of the storm that makes of it an active agent of redemption. Given the storm, it is wisdom to know that when it comes, the things that are firmly held by the vitality of the life are apt to remain, chastened but confirmed; while the things that are dead, sterile or lifeless are apt to be torn away. The wheat and tares grow up together, but when the time of harvest comes, only wheat is revealed as wheat - and tares remain what they have been all along, tares.

Howard Thurman "The Pressure of Crisis" in Meditations of the Heart, pg 139-140

Today was harder than I expected, and I was buffeted in unexpected ways. In the process of figuring out what was broken free, what was revealed, and what branches remain. And wishing for a nice bonfire.

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