I had classics I'd collected (some bought, some stolen from a high school that shall remain nameless...), a beat up slam poetry book, scriptures, churchy books, a book about a woman named Alicia who lost her entire family during WWII! As the years went on, I collected more and more.
One year for Christmas Danny bought me a bookcase, and I filled it. FILLED it.
Last summer, I tried that Kondo Method of cleaning where you get rid of books that don't fill your gills with guts and glory, and I think I tossed the slam poetry book and one of Dr. Laura's books about feeding husbands properly or some shizz like that.
I guess slam poetry lost some luster between midnight feedings and overdraft fees...
I won't even get started on why Dr. Laura doesn't bring me joy.
In fact, I'll drop all the booky stuff and just say what I came to say: Danny has a mountain of cop books (case law is apparently very important), so he gets the bottom shelf.
His one other contribution to our bookcase is THREE paperback books by CS Lewis: the first three in the Narnia series. He'd picked them up as a kid and just sort of never let loose of them.
Having fallen in a sort of fantastical love with the way Lewis moves words around, it started to bug me that I'd never read them. Danny and I have been trying to read them together.
As we've read his words, I keep thinking about a quote of his that has meant so much to me. I wanted to share it here:
“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”
It reminds me so much of Step 3, but also? It is what recovery is to me daily. Handing myself, my will and my day over to God because I trust Him -THAT is the goal that SOMEtimes I meet and SOMEtimes I don't. I think of another great wordsmith, one Dr. Seuss, who said very wisely,
"You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say sobut, sadly, it's truethat Bang-upsand Hang-upscan happen to you."
Bang-ups and Hang-ups. I was reading in my scriptures today about how God GIVES us weaknesses, and I got hung-up on that word, "gives." Such a positive word. God gives us all good things, so surely my weaknesses must be good? I recently listened to a Monk talk about how he quit having panic attacks when he accepted the panic as his friend. He quit fighting it and accepted it.
In 12-step talk, I think we'd say, "he surrendered it."
Because you can't surrender something unless you've accepted it.
I think back a few months ago to the sacred time I spent with my Granny who gently rubbed my feet and talked of the time in her life when she was left alone with eight children. How did she survive that?
"I'm so grateful for those days," she said, "I didn't know it then, but God was giving me exactly what I needed. I see it now, and I just remind myself when things get hard that God is always giving me what I need. He is so compassionate."
Compassionate because He gives us adversity.
Generous because He gives us weaknesses.
It seems counter-intuitive, but honestly, I don't think God is much interested in the intellect of men and their worldly philosophies. I think He's more interested in truth, simplicity, peace, meekness (the less-mentioned virtue, the underestimated underdog!), charity, love, humility, purity of heart, and willingness.
A less-worried world is what God is after.
A world where men worry less about battlefronts and more about the divine smolder sparking around inside of their own chests.
A world where the battlefronts surrender to the love of a neighbor.
Lately my life has taken on a small shift that has made a big difference, like the small shift in a track that causes a train to land in one city rather than another.
Life has become much less about RECOVERY and much more about simply HEALING and living genuinely with my whole heart forward. I can't imagine I'll ever be off this track, and though I'm sure I'll miss out on ending up in a City That Might Have Been, I'll end up in A New City more suited to my needs.
A less-worried city.