Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week III - Day 6 - The Cup of Wisdom

Michael Card
I have many favorite artists, often the one I am listening to at the moment is my favorite.  Still, high on my favorites list is Michael Card. I do not think the man has released anything that has not touched my heart and stretched my thinking.  Beginning to read Joyce's thoughts for Day 6, it is storming outside, my youngest is beginning a new job today thus my little ones are being shuffled around very early, I have yet another full heart is cluttered. Michael has one of the clearest and sometimes soothing voices. (Soothing when he isn't stretching my thinking!) Michael's song, Joy in the Journey, came to mind.  Joy in the Journey

My spiritual path sometimes seems dark.
I want to focus on the Light.
I continue to be amazed how Joyce's readings seem to hit me right where I am at this moment.
"I have often mentioned the need for guidance as we look at our less-than-perfect lives. It is easy to deceive ourselves as we walk on our spirtual path. Because we are flawed human creaures, we can get side-tracked. We can lose our focus...We can become absorbed in trying to be someone other than our true selves." (Joyce Rupp, The Cup of Life, p 82)
Joyce may have realized her reader could begin to feel slightly troubled at this point in the journey. I appreciated her gentle reminder ...
Calvin is ready to help!
"We need wisdom so that we will know when to embrace our imperfect selves with compassion and when to give our imperfect selves a swift kick in the right direction...when to embrace ourselves...when not to give in to ourselves." (Ibid) 
 More than once someone from the Wednesday Lunch Bunch has asked, "How do I know what God wants me to do?"  I have asked that myself. Joyce talks about Guidance being my inner voice, that when I listen, keeps me connected to God.
"It's not that our lives are all mapped out for us by God. The path is rarely a clear, visible, neatly defined one. No, rather Divine Wisdom helps us to discover, each step of the way, how we are to be a loving person in our world with our chipped, flawed condition." (Ibid)
Wisdom cannot get in when I am full.
I have heard that inner voice of mine speaking to me many times...and many times I have chosen to ignore it.  "I" had a plan, and "I" did not want to second guess myself, so "I" charged ahead.  But then, feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, I ask, "How am I to know what God wants me to do?"  

He has tried to tell me...and I did not listen!  He has sent Wisdom to me in the form of another's voice, something on the radio, a song, a poem....but if my cup is filled with my own agenda, I can not "hear" with my heart..

Sound familiar?

Honestly? I know this stuff! Much of what Joyce has written...I know, yet I do not live it well. Wisdom and Guidance have richly blessed me, and I have buried them beneath the clutter of my life. If misery loves company, then I am in good company. Think about the stories in scripture. Think of the psalms. Joyce says that direction for one's spiritual path has always been a need of people who are intent on following God's ways. Once again, I am so thankful that our God is a God of Second Chances.
"Let us trust in this wonderful guide who has been given to us. Let us turn often to ask for guidance and direction for our spiritual path for we, too, need this Wise One to teach us how to be and where to go." (Rupp, p 83)
   Breathing in: Send your light...
   Breathing out:...send your truth

turning my cup to each direction...
Hold your cup in your hands.

Recall that you are held in the Wise Hands of God.

As a sign of the all-encompassing guidance and wisdom of God in your life, very slowly and reflectively turn your cup to each of the four directions of the room.

After each turn of the cup, pray Ps 43:3: "O send out your light and your truth, let them lead me."

The area in which I most sense that I need God's guidance is...

I have known the presence of Holy Wisdom when...

Dear Wise One...

I am at a loss.  There are so many areas I need God's guidance.  I have written I am juggling to many commitments and I do not know what to do....other than to try and get through them.  A friend has suggested I seek the advice of a pastor counseling service.  It sounds good, but I don't know where I would plug in one more meeting...that would include me driving two more hours in my week! I am tired and my heart is heavy. A beautiful prayer by Thomas Merton speaks to my current dilemma. A prayer for guidance

.Dear Wise One, I sense that I most need your guidance and your wisdom as I contemplate where and what I am to do.  I feel pulled in two different directions.  I consider my age.  I consider distance. I consider my effectiveness or lack of. I make plans, yet, when I am tired and feeling overwhelmed, how well can I discern your wisdom and guidance as I make those plans?

I can't.

Trust in the Lord...lean not on
your own understanding.
I am like an overfull cup.  My heart tells me you are offering me wisdom and guidance regarding next steps, through my inner voice and through the voice of others.  But that wisdom and guidance are simply spilling out because there is no space in my cup. Thankfully,  I am not so over the top that I cannot sit quietly and recognize this reality. Sitting here with these thoughts, Trust once again nudges my heart. Recognizing how tactile I am, perhaps writing "trust" on a smooth stone to carry in my pocket would be a helpful reminder in the days to come.

I was a bit skeptical about turning my cup to the four corners of my room and praying, "Send out your light and your truth, let them lead me." It seemed a bit much, even for me.  However, it was a similar experience as the Breathprayers.  By the time I reached the last corner, my skepticism had melted away and I was feeling present with Divine Wisdom. I felt a sense of peace. This was a reminder for me to at least honestly try something before judging against.

Holy Wisdom....
Holy Wisdom, as I walk the spiritual path, with my chipped and flawed condition, teach me to be open to your guidance and direction for my life. I believe you want to use me in ways that furthers your kingdom here on earth.  By being still, and being more intentional about offering up prayer...may I make good choices that are reflective of the loving goodness of you. AMEN.

Joyce asks that I call on Holy Wisdom at least twice during my day and to ask for guidance.  I have a basket of polished stones and a collection of markers...I am going to write "Trust" on a stone as a reminder to ask... This is a habit I want to learn...

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Today may you feel God's reassurance to empty what needs to be emptied (even if others may not understand), so that you may be filled with God's goodness and mercies. As always, thank you for your honest thoughts as we journey with you through this study.