Spiritual Baby Steps

A brief follow-up to my post of two days ago . . . Actually, there were a couple that day and both tapped into angst and confusion – and guilt – and made use of a hearty sincerity that borders on self-righteous. It’s one of the risks.

Anyway, I woke early yesterday and walked the dog, following fields to the old air strip. It was a nice morning – quiet, the moon skating between gathering rain clouds, but no rain yet – and, for whatever reason, without effort or reflection, I felt empty and peaceful.

As we rounded the corner – coming out of a copse of trees, passing a couple of ruined tractors – it occurred to me that the peace I felt had more in common with a gift than wages earned through righteous action undertaken in accord with a correct belief system.

Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result, not a cause (T-21.In.1:7-8).

When I got back home and settled into the morning rocker with my tea I said aloud, “I’m tired.” And initially my thought was, oh breathe you big drama queen. You’re not tired. You just got eight hours of sleep. But I realized that what was tiring me – weary is the word, really – was how hard I was trying to make sense of and manage the world.

And I heard very clearly Jesus say, yeah, that’s the problem really. You can’t make sense of what was made precisely to obscure sense. An insane world does not become sane via wishful thinking or better thinking. You can try and try but it ain’t gonna work.

I remembered lesson twelve from A Course in Miracles.

You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself (W-12.1:2-4).

So a little peace steals in. So one adjusts, a gentle and slight shift toward the miracle. It’s okay. Baby steps are not a sign of weakness.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • April November 12, 2011, 10:00 am

    Sean,

    I think your thoughts on baby steps are so important. There are many of us who are ‘householders’, and have chosen to be in the world to a greater extent than say a monk, nun, renunciate, etc. but have nevertheless an intense inner yearning to know God’s presence in a very real way in our busy lives. Jesus, through the Course in Miracles, has promised that the peace of God is available to all of us regardless of what the shell of our activities look like. Those inner shifts toward the miracle are the baby steps that I can practice daily. Many times my world can appear to be a meaningless and fearful place. I find myself whining about my life but I know better, I really do, but my ego tries to convince me that its too much to ask to choose once again. Little baby steps of letting a Course lesson come to me at such times has brought the peace that I so needed. Thank you Sean for pointing out the importance of baby steps along this path.

    April

    • Sean November 14, 2011, 9:52 am

      Thanks, April. I love that phrase, the “shell of our activities.” This has been such a struggle for me lately, sometimes with little sign that it’s getting better. I have been thinking a lot lately about trust – in Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, whatever. It is even there in the notion that baby steps are okay – that this whole idea of progress at all has to be let go of or turned over. Intellectually, I know that the course teaches me that time is over and that salvation is accomplished but the ego sneaks in to say, “if that was really true, you’d know it. All you have right now is a guess, a suspicion.” It can devolve into a head game so quickly! So this idea that I can just turn it over and stop worrying . . . that I can trust. . . that is becoming more and more important.

      Thank you so much for being here. You think you’re starting a blog because you have something to say and honestly it feels more like I started it so my real friends and teachers could show up and start helping me! It means more than I can say.

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