Week Two: Open Mindedness

You’re probably less open-minded than you think.

This statement pops into my head, as I whip up my favorite protein smoothie. Okay, where did that come from? Amidst thoughts about yogurt, the loudness of my blender, and the brilliance of dark chocolate, it seems a bit out of place.

But my mind goes with it. And I’m thinking the ideas and teachings and philosophies and how they are just one or a few people’s thoughts, that a few more people believed, replicated, adhered to,…

Before we know it we have doctrines, traditions, sub-cultures and sub-sub-cultures. We have groups of people with titles, denominations, a language all their own. We have people who fit the mold perfectly and those who are cast out and find a better fit. And these groups begin to grow, shift, weed out the unbelievers, and eventually, we have masses of people who think the same.

I am not the exception.

I fit into one, or several of these (and this is how I’m picturing them now) robotic sub-cultures. Take in and spit out, follow the code, use the lingo, question little, spread the vision, remember the code!

It’s like stale manna. The heavenly bread that the Ancient Israelite were told to never hoard, but instead collect it  every day. Instead of new bread, new provision from above, they tried to store it.
It was full of maggots the next day.
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How am I saved then from eating moldy bread, from just consuming and regurgitating what I’m given?

I don’t know.

So, starting point: humility. (It seems to always come back to this)

I don’t know it all. I hardly know much, actually. Things I do know, letting myself question them. Can I/should I/How do I re-learn?

And then: recognition.

I cannot step outside of my upbringing, culture, religious background, or experiences any more than I can step out of my skin. (you can’t either) I will not come to anything untainted, free, a blank slate. I will not be the exception, as much as I try.

So: surrender.

Maybe just ask questions?
Be okay with mystery?
Go to my community and listen more than I speak. Go to other communities, other sub-cultures and listen more than I speak.
Read the Word like it’s alive. Ask the Spirit for something fresh. Learn, despite my hard heart and harder head.

Wait for the manna.

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Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.
-John 6:32-35

Treat kindly every miserable truth that knocks begging at your door, otherwise you will some day fail to recognize Truth Himself when He comes in rags.AUSTIN O’MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

Thanks to my beautiful friend, Charisa, who talked with me about stale manna, in terms of God revealing Himself, giving himself each and every day.

Week One: Humility

I’ve decided (again) that I need more structure in my life. More consistency and dedication.

There’s a problem though. As bossy as I am, I suck at telling myself what to do.

But I’m going to try this (again). “This” being commitment. For every week in June I am going to blog at least once on one topic. That’s at least 4 posts on 4 different subjects. So this means I can’t just rant about my day or write bad poetry. Yep. Here goes…

Week one.

Humility

I have two friends who frequent my backyard this summer. One, a lazy hare whose bed is the clumps of downy earth exposed by our lack of care, the other, a Cardinal.

“Prideful birds,” my mother said, pointing to the red streak on the highest branch of my childhood.

My friend though, hops absently on the earth, idles, then alights to nearby shrubs (so unkempt, they may even be overgrown weeds along our fence). 

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There is, I should mention, an incredible Maple tree which shadows are whole yard. I must point my chin to the sky to find it’s tallest branches.

My friend now sings on a haphazard pile of fallen branches we’ll soon burn. For a moment, I wonder why.
But it’s simple.

He forgets himself.