Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Awake and Listening

I have been reading Awareness by Anthony De Mello. My current professor recommended I read it. It is fascinating. At the beginning he states that he is going to challenge the reader's belief systems and he does.

Reading it is akin to looking at an M.C. Escher print in some ways, in my humble opinion. I get bursts of clarity and understanding but I also feel a bit muddled at times. Challenging? You bet. Humbling? Definitely. A growth opportunity? Absolutely.

Throughout the book De Mello talks about "waking up"; to living in reality, not our perceptions or labels or what we think other people want from us. Imagine living your life not trying to please people or impress them or feel important or special because another person values you? Is that freeing or frightening?

In the midst of these challenges, I picked up my Women's Devotional Bible and randomly opened to Isaiah 30: 15ish and the devotional writer was talking about human busyness and not be still enough to hear God's "still, small voice". We're too busy rushing about handling things and do not let God do His thing.

Hello!!! Busyness is my middle name. Sometimes I think I fill my life with busyness because I am, by De Mello's definition "asleep". I am trying to be good enough, smart enough, witty enough and pleasing to the world at large. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my activities. I just sometimes am also seeking some outside affirmation that I am valued. I am trying to prove myself so I go from this to that like a busy, productive bee and I fear...letting someone down or missing something or dropping a ball or failing my kids or, or, or...

And then I read about stopping to listen for God's "still, small voice"...and I wonder, have I made a mistake? Have I missed God's words in the midst of so much busy, busy, busy? Am I now stuck and in my rushing what kind of mess might I have made?

That is enough to make me want to cry myself back to "sleep" if I indeed might be awakening. Instead, I stopped and I took a breath and I prayed,

"Lord, even when I mess up big time, you can use it for good. Help me to know if I am headed in the right direction, please. If I am on the wrong track, will you make a way clear so that I can get started in a better direction, Your direction."

Praying we all can find our way to the "right" and "awake" direction.


1 comment:

  1. I also think there are seasons in life, chapters, that are just busy times of life. You have your hands full with lots of little lives that need you and lots of little voices calling for your attention! That will keep any momma busy. I haven't read the book, but wonder if Mr. De Mello was ever a mommy with lots of little ones. :)