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road narrows

Perhaps the most powerful addiction of all: addiction to our own mental grids.

Oh, this is good grist for our mental mill. So what do you think?

From Rohr…

Contemplation is meeting as much reality as we can handle in its most simple and yes andimmediate form, without filters, judgments, and commentaries. Now you see why it is so rare and, in fact, “the narrow road that few walk on” (Matthew 7:14). The only way you can contemplate is by recognizing and relativizing your own compulsive mental grids—your practiced ways of judging, critiquing, blocking, and computing everything.

This is what we are trying to do by practicing contemplative prayer, and people addicted to their own mind will find contemplation most difficult, if not impossible. Much that is called thinking is simply the ego’s stating of what it prefers and likes—and resistances to what it does not like. Narcissistic reactions to the moment are not worthy of being called thinking. Yet that is much of our public and private discourse.

When your mental judgmental grid and all its commentaries are placed aside, God finally has a chance to get through to you, because your pettiness is at last out of the way. Then Truth stands revealed! You will begin to recognize that we all carry the Divine Indwelling within us and we all carry it equally. That will change your theology, your politics, and your entire worldview. In fact, it is the very birth of the soul.

Road-Narrows

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Quotations

 

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narrow paths

One more lesson from Ray Vander Laan’s faith lesson Walking with God in the Desert (see my previous post).

Vander Laan referred to the sheep paths along the hillside as the “straight paths” or the “paths of righteousness.”

I saw Jesus’ “narrow road” in his Sermon on the Mount.

"straight paths" on a Negev hillside

“straight paths” on a Negev hillside

This is a narrow path.

And the hillside is covered with them.

Vander Laan observes that these sheep paths or ruts have been worn into the hillside over countless years of sheep being led across it. All these parallel paths are cut into the hillside, each spaced with just enough room for sheep to feed above or below it as the shepherd leads them along it.

He didn’t make the point, but the video suddenly became 3D and leapt out at me right off the screen, no glasses required.

"my sheep hear my voice"

“my sheep hear my voice”

The sheep are not marching lock step, single file all along the same path with the shepherd out in front (and a master at arms bringing up the rear). Sort of the way I see Sunday School kids being led to and from the sanctuary forming (literally) one long single line. No. The shepherdess leads the sheep all in the same direction, but along parallel paths up and down the entire hillside. And there are “green pastures” enough for all.

 

How far you want to expand this metaphor is up to you.

How simple and clear cut is single file.

How easy to control.

How naturally inclined we are towards it.narrow path_2

But the sheep walk all over the hillside on different but parallel paths, each finding what it needs along the way, the tuft here and the tuft there, the one shepherdess walking before them all, the sound of Her voice the only beacon necessary, the only control called for.

Now there’s a picture to ponder a bit.

I’ll never see that “narrow road” in quite the same way…

narrow path

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in musings, Psalms, Videos

 

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