I wrote this post on the plane to a conference a few months ago and noticed it on my USB key, so I thought I would post it.
A good friend gently reminded me that they felt I had been becoming increasingly cynical and abrupt in my comments and in my speech. For the longest time I had accepted that perhaps my ‘brashness’ as some might call was a result of the way God made me. It has come to my attention through conversation and the very timely reading of “The Way of the Heart” that perhaps this is not the case.
While there is meritt in the argument that we have been created in the image of God (Gen 1:27) and that some people’s personality (emphasis on “personality” being distinct and different from character) reflect God in different ways (for example the merciful and the just) this has long been my excuse in seeing the world as black and white with very little grey in it.
I have understood literature such as “Wild at Heart” to justify this kind of character. While this type of literature has been helpfull to some degree, I have fallen into using it as an excuse for my behavior.
When I read in 1 Cor 13, a passage gravely misquoted in the context of marriage, it states that Love perservers through all circumstances. This has come to light when reflecting on my words, and for the most part I realize that squandering speech on meaningless things that will all one day “come to pass” as my father would say, has been prominent not only in my life but in our culture as well.
There are things, many things that are better left unsaid. “Fire of the soul” has been explained to me well as in Nouwen’s book “The Way of the Heart”, which I will at this point encourage you to read, it is very very accessible and a short read, though quite profound in its brevity. I have not realized that too many words has allowed for some of the ‘fire of the soul’ to escape. And things that ought to have been left in Communion with God, have escaped and lost their value and conversation. I have invaded the own privacy of my soul in a sense.
Perhaps more profound monastic spiritual disciplines should be a focal point in these next years, Solitutde, Silence and Prayer as covered by Nouwen.