"Lord my life is an empty cup.
Here's my heart,
would You fill me up?
I'm face to the ground,
forsaking my pride,
leaving my will,
my burdens behind.
All I want, all I need
is just to be with You,
just to be with You..."
Today, Paul Beloche's "Just to be with You," beautifully captures one not-all-that-long-ago morning's practice of "emptying the cup."
And recent conversations with close friends have helped me clarify (for myself) how critical this practice of releasing mental tightness...and expelling the toxins of the ego...is to being present and prepared for the day - to show up thirsty for a more refreshed sense of spiritual purpose, to arrive on the doorstep of dawn, with a clean cup...empty, ready and waiting for Him to fill me anew.
For instance, the other day I woke up with a wretched ego hangover from too much of "me" based thinking the night before. I'd allowed myself to fall asleep without establishing that my day really starts, Biblically with: "and the evening and the morning were the first day..." Starting from a proper sense of evening...clear understanding that my life proceeds from the peace and rest of a day well lived and redeemed...makes all the difference.
Mary Baker Eddy defines evening as:
EVENING. Mistiness of mortal thought;
weariness of mortal mind; obscured views;
peace and rest.
I love this definition. I think it is brilliant that she, first, addresses all the ways that our sense of evening can be twisted and misrepresented by false perceptions that we are experiencing a total absence of light, and then "snap!" she points out the beauty of its, evening's, more subtle lighting and reclaims it all for God.
I love the evening...no shadows of self to distract and impress...just a suffusive, softly radiant, reclaimed "peace and rest." The light that is present is not as bright as "noonday"...much less blindingly dramatic, and brilliant...but for some reason I find it easier to get clear of "Kate" outlines when the light that is there, is more modest, somehow quieter and less direct. In the twilight of "evening" I am conscious of a more graceful, less in the spotlight "me."
And in this space of "evening" I find myself resting upon, and proceeding from a real peace. A peace that "floweth as a river," rather than from all of Kate's decisions, choices, mistakes, plans and strategies. Evening begins with claiming my right to see myself as God-sent into each moment with a holy purpose. The details of what happened, who said what to whom, how it all went down, and the outcomes, results, successes, and failures of the day...are of no consequence when I realize that God has given me countless opportunites throughout that day, to discover more about who I am as His beloved child, Her divinely radiant reflection.
But back to this particular morning. As soon as I woke up, I realized that I'd gone to bed steeped, not in a peaceful sense of evening, but in the darkness of a long, starless night. And as I'd slid into the black chasm of night's total darkness, I'd been hoping to escape physical and emotional exhaustion. I'd felt as if all my resources had been drained by the demands of the day, every mental muscle strained, every ounce of emotional poise stripped...and I was seeing myself through the lens of a very limited range of motion and focal distance.
And I felt it. I felt it in every cell of my being. So, what did I need to do.
I needed to establish a proper sense of "morning":
MORNING. Light; symbol of Truth;
revelation and progress.
Ahh, light, revelation, and progress!
First, light. I stretched. I let the light, which is at the center of my being, radiate out from a fully extended heart. I imagined each mental molecule inhaling to the point of expanding its "skin," it's membrane, so that when it exhales, all the toxins of "the ego" are released.
Second, revelation. I wrote. I let every thought...and I mean every thought...be revealed, exposed, run wildly naked, falling exhausted onto the open, empty page. I wasn't impressed by any of it. The cycle of self-justification and regret that seemed so overwhelming in the dark, secret place of the ego, was clearly not "my thinking" when exposed to the light of Truth...my unbroken relationship with the divine...that "indissoluable spiritual link" which establishes me in the likeness of my Maker.
Third, progress. To progress, we need to make progress...to move forward. I love the active sense of this word as a verb. To step into the next moment with purpose, hand-in-hand with God -- with Love -- is to step away from the darkness of the night before. Just knowing that I can always find a proper sense of evening...day-by-day and moment-by-moment....is to feel the joy of standing before God as an empty cup, a challis, the holy grail, waiting for "the inspiration of Love."
Dear divine Love, I am yours...waiting to be filled, each moment...
...with Your Love,
Kate Robertson, CS