I am discovering that patience is not my forte! Spinal surgery was two weeks ago and now I am growing anxious to be up and doing, but I am not allowed to lift anything over five pounds. and because of neck collars and bifocals I can’t see anything below my nose. So no exciting walks, no rearranging files (they all weigh over five pounds, actually you’d be surprised what weighs more
than five pounds.), no cooking because I can’t see the stove top clearly, and worst of all reading is difficult because I have to hold the book up high to get it
in focus. As a result I am slowly going crazy. I am now surprised that three
weeks ago I was looking forward to a time of quiet reflection but now all I can
do is slowly let the crazy out in little bursts so I won’t go mad.
At times I feel like I am one of the Desert Mothers sitting quietly in her cave and wondering what to do with fingers that fidget! I would be one of those beginning pilgrims who would go to her Amma and ask what should I do, how do I listen, and what am I listening for? Our lives are built on being busy and that was as true for the Desert Mothers and Fathers as it is for us and I can’t be busy, I don’t have anything to be busy with. This is so frustrating on one hand yet also a great lesson in being still, if I could just learn it.
Spiritual Practices are called practices for a reason and learning how to just be and practice those moments of silence, and wonder is way more difficult than anyone would think. It is so much easier to read about listening for the God than actually doing it. I must admit that I am struggling with being still in order for the voice of God to enter my heart and heal my distress. Creating stillness within has been more than difficult in the last week or so than I could ever have imagined. I actually have this image of God sitting in the corner of our deck just rolling with laughter at my attempts to sit still and find my quiet center. I have always believed God has an amazing sense of humor and we are his greatest source of entertainment and I think today I must be high on her list.
Maybe what God wants me to see is the humor in this whole situation, to be able to laugh at myself and give myself a break by not trying quite so hard to be still and to let the joy in just being free of responsibilities for a little while sinks in. I have always believed that working hard and being efficient is what I was supposed to do, well maybe that isn’t the case. Maybe like the Ammas of the Desert I need to return to my cave and listen.
Ruth Jewell, ©July 16, 2011