Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Waking the Soul...again and again

'Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up--

It is the human creative agony,
Though but to hold an empty cup
Or tighten on the team the rigid rein.
Many will rather lie among the slain
Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain--
Than wake the will, and be born bitterly.

But he who would be born again indeed,
Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day,
And urge himself to life with holy greed;
Now ope his bosom to the Wind's free play;
And now, with patience forceful hard, lie still,
Submiss and ready to the making will,
Athirst and empty, for God's breath to fill.
From Diary of an Old Soul, by George MacDonald

I encountered this poem while reading the Sacred Romance, by John Eldrige and Brent Curtis, years ago. It was in that book study that my mind realized religion was about emotionality and not just a literal dogma one had to accept or reject. And I wondered, why this was never made clear to me before. I have always been inuitive, always spiritual, but not always able to understand the "heart" in religious story. I was in my 30s at that time. Good heavens, why did it take so long for religion to speak to my heart?! I have vowed now to try to speak very clearly to other's hearts about the deep truth of religious story and practice. Some are not ready to hear what I have to say. But I have found that the younger people are when they hear me, the more readily they understand; the more "ope and ready for the Wind's free play." Perhaps it is because they are still hopeful, still objective, still open to new ways of thinking and being. Still full of wonder.

Listen to this paragraph from the book, the Sacred Romance: We all, to some extent, take that shining something in us that felt magical and passionate as children, that longing for heart intimacy and push it through the loneliness, ache, and turmoil of life - through various stages of disconnection and hardness to another abiding place: resignation.There is something inside of us that says, "This is the way it is. I had better learn to deal with it."

CS Lewis tell us: [Sacred love/romance] is not in other people, it comes through them. They are the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.

God speaks through the Spirit, the Wind, the fragrance of relationship,the silencing of our busy mind/controlling will and surrender of needs and expectations.

May you never be resigned to thinking, "this is the way it has to be". But may your resignation be to remain open to God's love and light. May you always remain "submiss and ready to the making will, athirst and empty for God's breath to fill." Happy 2011!   

© Peggy Beatty 2011


  1. "This is the way it has to be" may be true in an instant (or hour or day or year) but it is never permanent. How I respond to "this" is the gift of surrender with Spirit. Indeed, finding the faith to change my perception, WHENEVER that comes to me and I become open to receiving it, is the essence of allowing God's breath to fill, inspire, and release me to a deeper, more permanent reality: That regardless of circumstance, personal reaction, or outside influence, I am fully loved and supported by God.

    1. Eloquently stated, my friend! "to release me to a deeper, more permanent reality." I love that! Thank you for sharing!