Tender thoughts for today...

There comes a time in each person's life (I think) when you don't want to fight any more. I certainly feel that way as I sneak up on my 60th birthday. Now, I don't mean giving up on life or rolling over to die.  Rather I'm talking about not having to prove things to yourself and others, yes?  To be sure, we will always have to fight our worst selves - and we'll never be exempt from the way our shadows take us on trips we can't comprehend - but my hunch is that each person has a longing to be at rest in the world spiritually, physically, emotionally and politically.  

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

I find myself constantly drawn to this text from Matthew 11:  it strikes me as an invitation to trust deeply that God's grace is sufficient. And in that place, to play with a musical metaphor it feels like my John Lennon has finally left the house after years and years of agitating everyone in sight so that Paul McCartney can now sing "Hey Jude" unhassled. Does that make any sense?

I really don't have any energy left for fighting or arguing with my loved ones, I don't want to keep mixing it up people who are always itching for a battle, I have no desire to carp or whine out loud in any way, shape or form (except, I guess, in this rant) and I have little to no patience in spending time with souls who only see the negative. Now, I could be wrong, but I don't think this is complacency.  I'm not talking about ignoring or denying injustice.  Nor do I have any interest in excusing actions or words that are self-centered or mean-spirited. 

No, what I'm talking about has to do with trusting that God's grace is bigger than all my anxieties.  This evokes such a sense of peace that I can risk being at rest with the world and maybe even myself. It feels like something has shifted deep inside me. For a while I thought I was trapped in a loop where Ringo kept singing "A Little Help from My Friends." But when I woke up and asked "is that really so bad?" I had to confess that it didn't strike me as a problem...

This morning Fr. Richard Rohr wrote:

To more fully understand the concept of the Cosmic Christ we must be ready to receive a mystery that is too good to be true. God is saving everything and everybody until, as Paul says, “Christ will be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). Or, as St. Augustine put it, “In the end there will only be Christ, loving Himself.” Now this may sound like a shocking statement at first, but we are talking on a mystical level, about where history is going. Most of us did fairly well with the passion and death, but any comprehensive theology of what we mean by the Risen Christ has not really been developed.


Christ in His risen presence is pervading all of creation, all of humanity. The metaphor used in the New Testament is that we as Christians are the first fruits, the adopted sons and daughters. Jesus is the Son and we are the inheritance, like the Jews were for history. To use the language of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: “Before the world began, we were chosen in Christ to live through love in His presence” (1:3).


From where I sit today, this makes a whole world of sense to me...




Comments

Philomena Ewing said…
This hits the spot in a big way for me.
I am getting to that place more and more. I am getting weary of it all.
There comes a time to stand back and rest in Christ at least for a while :-)) - maybe that is what we all need to do.
Blessings
Black Pete said…
For me, in my exhaustion, it was when my shadows and I, my "worst self", simply sat down at the table with everybody else I am, and we became one thing, one person. We always were, but the inner conflict didn't help things a bit.

In fact, reconciliation is what I am driving at here--you don't expunge your "worst self" in my experience. You accept him (her). You are inseparable. I have found standard Christian thinking less than helpful in this process as a rule because of the insistence on false polarities.
RJ said…
Thank you both... and I suspect it is more like Francis and the wolf, yes? My experience of resting and befriending my shadow rings true here. And resting in Christ feels so right on so many levels... Blessings to you both.

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