Monday, July 23, 2012

"safe passage...."

“It's not far back to sanity.
At least it's not for me.
And when the wind is right
you can sail away
and find serenity
The canvas can do miracles.
just you wait and see,
Believe me...”

Christopher Cross' "Sailing" has always reminded me of the mercurial waters just off the Chesapeake Bay...snapping sheets, ringing halyards, and learning to call, "coming about..." to an eager crew. It was a summer I'll never forget.

But it was also the first song that came to mind this morning after our “staff inspirational.” Tiffany had shared a spiritual concept that she’d heard from another counselor. And I’ve been considering it’s message all day. She spoke about:

“the importance of giving others
safe passage through your thoughts...”

What a lovely, and powerful, concept.

Thoughts of others cross my mental waters throughout the day...and night.

But Tiff's comment is asking me to consider, "What environment am I providing for their passage?"

Will they face the harsh and lowering storms of judgment, self-righteousness, opinions, and criticism? Or will they find safe passage on the peaceful, encouraging waters of kindness, compassion, understanding, meekness, and non-judgment?

Will their crossing be expectant of good and full of hope, or will they face the unseen (and often unheard) dangers of sharp comment, gossip, doubt, or criticism?

I remember a time when I knew I'd made some pretty unnecessary navigational errors in my own life journey. And even though I was willing to be a stalwart, tireless sea woman...drop my sails, push off from the shoals, and limp my way back towards the nearest harbor to re-stock, repair, and re-chart my course according to God’s timeless Principle of Love...I was afraid.

It wasn’t my own mistakes that made me hesitant about attempting the crossing again...I now knew how to more effectively read the Bible - "the chart of Life," and use the timeless buoys of the Ten Commandments, to thoughtfully, and safely, make my way back out towards open water. No, I wasn't afraid I would make the same errors in judgement again, that kept me tied in knots, it was my concern about being pulled into someone else’s mental waters that terrified me.

How could I navigate wisely? Would it be possible to leave harbor without notice? Could I slip silently through the shipping lanes undetected? Was it possible to avoid the shoals of opinion, cynicism, and doubt...even my own?

Well, I've learned that I can't control what anyone else is thinking about me. Or as Melba Beals helped me see:

"What you think of me
is none of my business,
how I think of you,
is all that matters."

How someone else is thinking is not my between them, and God. But I can take responsibility for the way I think of myself, and others. And this in-vironmental activism has made all the difference. I can find a core stillness...based in the presence and power of Love...that allows for the kind of peace one needs in order to clearly hear the voice of the Captain of our souls saying, "come about..." or "tighten the mainsail..." This sea of a still, trustful, and accepting heart is what I am striving for every day.

"The Daily Prayer," from the Articles on "Discipline" in Mary Baker Eddy's Manual of the Mother Church – The First Church of Christ, Scientist, has become a critical instrument for testing the barometric balance within my thought:

“Thy kingdom come;
let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love
be established in me;
and rule out of me all sin.
And may Thy Word,
enrich the affections of all mankind
and govern them.”

It is the North Star by which I not only find my own way, but establish safe passage for others.

Trusting that God’s Word is governing “all mankind,” impartially, and universally, through His infinite, irresistible, relentless capacity to enrich our affections for good, for peace, for integrity, for salvation...for Him...leaves my heart a calm, peaceful sea where the gentle and insistent winds of Spirit [pneuma, wind] gives safe passage to all who enter my thoughts.

Thinking of myself as a wise, alert, compassionate harbor master, and letting others find safe passage through my thoughts, is already becoming a wonderful way of thinking about how I can do a better job of loving my neighbor as myself.

may you always find safe passage in my heart...with Love,


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