Friday, February 20, 2009

The Desert

I really have a difficult time “playing the game” anymore. Any game. It matters not which one it is. Political, economic, social, or religious. All the tit for tat that so easily usurps the genuine place of the Consuming Fire. Though I have a difficult time with it, I find myself always dancing on the edge of something that makes me uncomfortable, sharpening my awareness that though God is in his heaven all is not right in the world.

Personally, I find the life of Christ and his teachings incompatible with all the hypocritical poppycock that fills the world’s societies, parties and factions bent on conquering or dominating one another in one fashion or another. Fluffiness. Stuffiness. Arrogance. Deceit. None of these describe Christ or the way of life taught by him. He chose not the high and mighty for his consort. Rather, we find him surrounded primarily by a much more lowly crowd, generally despicable in the eyes of the more elite. Harlots. Tax collectors. Fishermen. Ruffians. At least one thief that we know of. But not many high and mighty.

JESU, the beauty the angels see, the ear’s ecstatic minstrelsy, the nectar of the heavenly home, the lips’ delicious honeycomb:

It’s no wonder to me that those early men and women ran to the desert once the Church became a respectable and popular place to hang out. They ran to escape all but their own selves where they could reckon with these selves. They also ran to encounter the Only Fire that could purge the dross that contaminated their selves.

I find it no wonder that their dire and stark example opened the monastic avenue within the realm of Christendom. Monks and monasteries. Masses of men and women religious owning nothing. Sharing everything. Vows. Poverty, chastity, obedience, stability. Until death did their soul depart from their mortal frame. Much has changed concerning these ideals. People want some social cause to follow that diverts their attention from the real interior issue.

For they who taste thee hunger sore, and they who drink thee thirst the more, desiring naught below, above, save Jesus whom their spirits love.

I struggle. I wrestle every day. I have a deep longing for the Saviour and I recognize the reality that the more I partake, the more I enjoin myself to him and him to me, the more I long for him. Yet so much remains amiss within me. The journey is ever a beginning. There is always still far to go. I am full and empty in the same breath. My enemies never give up their pursuit, like hounds fast on a trail.

I recognize the discord and disharmony within the fabric of my own being, within my own self. It’s as though a part of me is caught in an inescapable steel trap forged in the furnace constructed by the world’s system, a system set on fire with the kindling of desire and fueled by inexhaustible stockpiles of pride and greed. It is a system that baits its victims, coaxes them into the trap that holds them securely while the fire blazes.

Jesu, most desired and dear, the hope of longing spirits here, to thee my earnest tears shall turn, for thee my inmost heart shall yearn.

Room. Plenty of room. Vast fields of room within my interior regions. A landscape of changing seasons, each with its own set of peculiarities. I admit that I'm not the most disciplined disciple. Theory and practice are not always equivalents of one another.

I work at it. Some days, some seasons, discover me more disciplined than others. At times I have no devotional discipline. Life is all too real, pressed upon from every side, most of the time by life’s daily grinding ordeals. I accept and admit my faults without slighting or justifying them and recognize that Reconciliation will ever be a need in my life.

I have, perhaps, finally discovered and entered the desert.