First of all, Happy New Year to you!
I really hope this is the best year you’ve ever had.
I don’t usually write on Sundays. Certainly not on a “New Years’ Day Sunday”!
But this morning is different. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time looking at my diet, and girding my loins to start a new one today. But in meditative prayer this morning, I realized that I already know what to eat, and what not to eat.
I reflected on how many years–decades really—that I’ve put into keeping up with the political and cultural news. And I think about how much time I’ve wasted in becoming over-educated about many things outside my control.
I considered how many things I’ve neglected–particularly in my family–while I’ve been on some sort of quest to “save the world.”
And I reflected on how much vanity has been involved with my quests.
I also reflected on an obsession I’ve had with “structuring” my days, weeks, and months. I’ve spent so much time trying to corral in my time! Sometimes I feel like I’m structuring nothing just to have something to do.
I’ve been spending a lot more time than ever with nothing but my thoughts and my family. My absence has been painful, and has caused much damage.
Doing “nothing” has been hard, because more reality has crept in, and reality is hard if you resist it.
I had gone through much trouble in “setting” up recurring items on my calendar. I just went through and deleted a lot of recurring items that had given me some type of comfort of “structure.” Deleting those items was both freeing and scary–I feel a bit like a high-wire act with no net now!
We give ourselves structure in some ways as a safeguard against spiralling into negative behavior. We set up limits like X amount of time on the computer. Excess computer time has been a problem in my family. It’s probably a problem for just about everybody!
In my prayer time this morning, I realized that the truly awake mind does not need to put artificial constraints like diets and excess structure onto itself. Bruce Lee used to say “Not daily increase, but daily decrease.”
The attempt to over-educate, and to structure ourselves as a kind of defense against our worst instincts even creeps into religion. Yet the Bible speaks a number of times about how a time is coming when He will write His laws on our hearts.
That time is here. Now. It’s time we embrace it instead of being scared of it.
At some point we must be willing to trust that He indeed has already written His laws on our hearts! We just weren’t paying attention.
So as your new year unfolds, I really hope that you–we–begin to see that we no longer need to construct artificial defenses against our worst instincts, and keep stuffing our heads with information that is not pertinent to our day-to-day living… and instead begin to trust more in what we already know, and attend to the responsibilities and opportunities that are staring us in the face!
I hope we have the “resolve” to carry it through!
To Support the critical work of Old School, go HERE.