I have just returned from leading a 3 day Sacred Space retreat. My mind all abuzz with the epiphanies the retreatants were having, the God-moves that took place in the quiet corners of people's soul, and the rhythm of the Divine Hours being practiced by the monks at the Abbey that we experienced as we quietly slipped in and out of their practice… receiving something they had no idea they were giving.
This morning, as my spirit honed in on this particular prayer to breathe into my soul, it seemed to speak about all that God was doing in and through the men and women who were at Sacred Space…read and pray this slowly and ask the Spirit to illuminate the parts that your heart needs…
Gracious and Holy One,
Creator of all things
and of emptiness,
I come to you
full of much that clutters and distracts,
stifles and burdens me,
and makes me a burden to others.
Empty me now
of gnawing dissatisfactions,
of anxious imaginings,
of fretful preoccupations,
of nagging prejudices,
of old scores to settle,
and of the arrogance of being right.
of the ways I unthinkingly think of myself as powerless,
as a victim,
as determined by sex, age, race,
as being less than I am,
or as other than yours.
of the disguises and lies
in which I hide myself from other people
and from my responsibility
for my neighbors and for the world.
Hollow out in me a space
in which I will find myself,
find peace and a whole heart,
a forgiving spirit and holiness,
the springs of laughter,
and the will to reach boldly
for abundant life for myself
and the whole human family.
This prayer is full of ruminatorial opportunities! (but I'll focus on just one)
The line that first drew me in was, "Empty me now of…the arrogance of being right."
I wondered, '
"what would happen in our lives if we took 30 days and decided that we would choose to be kind instead of fighting to prove that we are right?"
How would we handle the tension in our souls that worships the god of rightness more than the God of love.
Could I possibly see and believe that I can choose to be kind over being right without having to give up on what I believe…yes I think I could, but that would require a mind like Christ's.
He was able to be 100% right in every situation when the people around Him were so lost and wrong, yet love and kindness flowed from His soul.
I often ask myself, "even if I prove myself to be absolutely right in this moment, does it really have an eternal significance?"
Most often it does not, and my need to be right can easily take second place to my call to be kind and demonstrate love without really giving up anything that matters, and gain much that does through kindness.
Our need to always be right lurks in the shadows of most all conflict…
Our need to always be right reveals the insecurities that fill our identity…
Our need to always be right becomes a god that we fashion and dress in religiosity and truth justifications…
Our need to always be right keeps us from enjoying the people in our lives…
30 days…can you do it…will you allow yourself to enter into and feel and become aware of the tension that you are experiencing with a need to be right…
When you sense the Holy Spirit placing some Divine Duck Tape over your mouth again and again, let me encourage you to laugh and smile at yourself as you see how often you need to apply the filter. It's okay, it is all a part of the process and journey of becoming, and on the way, your kindness just might unleash the soul of someone who desperately needs it.