She will guide me prudently in my understandings. Wisdom 9:11
Reading and reflecting
in chapter 6, “The Open Window,” Joyce Rupp uses the story of a blackbird who was stuck in a stairwell but could not see the way out even when it was opened to it because of its disorientation, fear, and confusion.
We too are like that, says Rupp. We yearn for inner freedom, but hide from it at the same time. We get stuck in our misery because we cannot see beyond it.
Fearing the unknown and focusing on the “what-ifs,” we hide where we are comfortable with what we know, refusing to risk the step that would bring us into wholeness of life.
It is our ego that gets in the way, says Rupp. Our ego thinks it knows best and likes to be in control. It likes to keep things in its confined space.
When we notice this happening, it is helpful, says Rupp, to be aware of the feelings and messages that keep repeating inside us and to stop and examine them. Ask questions like, “Why am I so upset about this?” “Where is this feeling coming from?” “Am I being ruled or overtaken by my feelings?” (See more questions on pg 83.)
As you read this chapter see what resonates with you. Where do you see yourself? What is the stairwell in which you are trapped even though you can see the open window? What keeps you from going through it?
Scripture for the week:
A person’s steps are made secure by the Lord
when they delight in his way.
Though they trip up, they won’t be thrown down,
because the Lord holds their hand.
Psalm 37: 23-24. Common English Bible
To practice this week.
Think of a situation in which you always react the same way: You go nuts if the garbage doesn’t get taken out. Someone lies to you. You see injustice and rail against it. You stick to your own truth even when new evidence says you might be wrong.
Spend some time with what comes to you.
The next time you react to the situation, stop to think about what you are doing. Is it fear? Stubbornness? Your need to be right? Some old wound that never got healed?
Can you deliberately choose to act without resorting to your old patterns? What new truth is revealed to you?
“Ordinary Time” by Jan Richardson from In Wisdom’s Path.