by Diane Walker
This charming winged foot was created by Michael Alfano; it was another of the treasures we found in the sculpture garden at the Millbrook Gallery in Concord, NH.
It seems an appropriate symbol for the sort of rushing around phenomenon, that restless busy-ness that gets in the way of our spiritual lives. As I wrestled this morning with some decisions around that conflict — whether to take off for 24 hours of alone time or to get caught up in the growing pile of to-dos here, I appreciated these words from Henri Nouwen:
"The spiritual life demands a discipline of the heart. Discipline is the mark of a disciple of Jesus. That doesn’t mean, however, making things difficult for yourself, but making available the inner space where God can touch you with an all-transforming love. We human beings are so faint-hearted that we have a lot of trouble leaving an empty space empty. We like to fill it all up with ideas, plans, duties, tasks, and activities.
It strikes me increasingly just how hard-pressed people are nowadays. It’s as though they’re tearing about from one emergency to another. Never solitary, never still, never really free but always busy about something that just can’t wait. …The more agitated we are, and the more compacted our lives become, the more difficult it is to keep a space where God can let something truly new take place.
The discipline of the heart helps us to let God into our hearts so that God can become known to us there, in the deepest recesses of our own being. This is not so easy to do; we like to be master in our own house and don’t want to admit that our house is God’s house too." (from Letters to Mark about Jesus)
I’ve decided to set the to-do’s aside and re-schedule a few appointments. It’s time to create a little space in my heart…