The last several days my heart has been out-of-sorts. I have found myself easily upset, driven to constant busyness and shrouded by doubt concerning life, God and myself.
Trying to find relief from this soul-influenza, which seems to hit hardest between Thanksgiving and New Years, I got busy working on “the things I need to get done.” Instead of finding gradual relief; I became more agitated, lonely and depleted.
This morning I gave up, not on God, but on my unaided ability to fix this state I was in. As I gave over my heart in its present bewildering condition to Jesus, the angst and uncertainty began to lift. At some point during this “releasing under the reign of Christ” moment, a thought or perhaps a desire came to me – to open the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis. This is what I read:
“He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen.”
My first reaction was to my out-of-sorts heart was to work on the “externals” and wait for a “special place or time to perform devout exercises.” I was perhaps suffering and struggling needlessly for days, when I could have “adjusted myself to things AS they happened.”
Then I read:
“Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.”
I don’t know why I often go around the “inward man” with myself. I know better. I love Kempis’ expression, “His visits with the inward man are frequent.” I so often try to find Him in the “outward” places unsuccessfully. But there He waits, in my heart, “whose beauty and glory…He takes delight.”
I hope that we will remember and remind each other to live from our interior life and to “recollect” our self; finding God’s consolation, peace and intimacy.