River Rest

Saturday, 11 July 2009

I was going on about resting in God the other day at Communitas. I'm thinking about it again this morning. I come from a family of high strung people. I am a creative on top and thirdly I have built up my intellect as some sort of a safe tower in some respects. Because of that I find it really difficult to switch my brain off and just be.

I did two lots of meditation this morning. Two twenty minute cycles of just sitting. Sitting while the thoughts flit in and out. Sitting even though I feel like I've got 40 squillion things to do. Sitting with the million racing thoughts that I think really are probably the main reason why I spent my twenties with my mouth stuck in a bong instead of my hands smoothing clay. But you know, people are stupid and I'm stupid along with them and it takes years to learn the simplest things that children can see until they are silenced in one way or another.

And so I sat in the midst of the being still and trying to see God. Not that I ever see God, duh. I've had some periods where I have sensed his presence close. When Mark and I first broke up, that first year I think was pretty amazing in some ways because I could feel him close. These days, not so much. I do not know why these things happen. I do not think for very long anymore that it is because he is displeased with me. I think it is far more mysterious than that, something along the lines of what Browning talks of when he says:
... God, whose pleasure brought
Man into being, stands away
As it were a handbreadth off, to give
Room for the newly-made to live,
And look at him from a place apart,
And use his gifts of brain and heart,
Given, indeed, but to keep for ever.

I cannot think in the flat-packed face-slapping way of church billboards that say, "If God seems far away, who has moved?" It is too close to my own experience of God often feeling far away to even be able to stand in that self-righteous, self-indulgent pose and say, "Well, here is a fine opportunity for me to vaunt myself above you. Because everybody who attends this building here has a 24/7 hotline to God. Don't you wish your spirituality was hot like ours?"

Life seems such a strange sort of thing to me that, on the days when I feel pressed in by the things I have to do, that these are the days when I need even more and even longer to sit and be still and know that he is God, and watch them fall away afterwards, like tender cooked meat off a bone. Until all that is left is now, and the river running under it, and the doing of what I see to put my hand to, and the still(er) mind, and the golden thread that leads into the playroom :) And me, the real me, has the room to move in which I was created for, where I live and move and have my being.

Secretly we spoke,
that wise one and me.
I said, Tell me the secrets of the world.
He said, Sh... Let silence
Tell you the secrets of the world.

~ Rumi


  1. Mmmm love me that Rumi. I see God when I sit quietly in the woods. And I do think that sometimes we CAN actually see him, when he clothes himself in whatever it is, trees or clay or whatnot, that is meaningful to us.

  2. I agree :) God clothed in people is pretty amazing too. Especially when those people are total toolbags. That's when I think of Garden of Eden stories of people getting about buck naked and not even realising it because they were clothed in God.


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