I went to a thing at St. David’s tonight, and one of the guys who spoke in our discussion mentioned a verse I had not heard in a while. Psalm 19:14. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Man alive, kick me in the teeth, and burn my house down. My words and thoughts have been anything but pleasing to anyone. I’ve been untrusting and skeptical and critical and judgmental in many ways. I think things have happened to warrant some mistrust and skepticism on my part, but I’m realizing tonight that the mistrust and skepticism have taken over my being. I’m not just cautious. I’m closed off. And good cannot come of that.
I’m reminded of this book I’ve slowly been reading – The Art of Possibility. My friend Lina recommended it to me a while back, and I’ve been working through it in bursts with lots of down time in between. It talks about the impact of an attitude change. The last thing I marked in it was this statement: “Gracing yourself with responsibility for everything that happens leaves your spirit whole, and leave you free to choose again.” I read and underlined that statement months ago. But it, like the verse, is something I needed to read tonight.
I’ve been wandering around feeling like my life is out of my control. I’ve been reacting rather than acting. I’ve been worrying rather than doing. I’ve been having this internal dialogue about stress and difficulties and things that make me unhappy, but all I’ve accomplished is to grow the stress and difficulty and my dissatisfaction with things as they are.
I wrote my speech tonight for the Toastmaster’s demo meeting I’m doing tomorrow. It’s fun, as I’d hoped, but it also opened my eyes to want I want for myself. After describing my encounter with a naked bicyclist who held a clothed baby and a sweet couple from the high desert, I concluded, “It’s easy for me to look at other people and judge their actions, their appearances, their nudity. But if I’m really looking hard at my own heart, I know that I want what they have. I want the ability to stand nude in the street and not care what people think. I want the ability to laugh even when I’m a walking contradiction. I want to be with someone I love who knows me like we’ve been together for 50 years. I want to be a little more carefree – no, a LOT more carefree – than I currently feel like I can or should be.” And I don’t want these things in the way I want to see a movie or do nothing for an evening. I desperately want these things for myself, and I’ve been weighed down by feeling…weighed down.
I’m setting down the stress and difficulty and dissatisfaction and opening myself up to the possibility of different and better things in my life. This whole month of cleansing has taken a new path. First things first. I’m starting from the inside. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”