Brennan Manning uses this insightful story to illustrate why it is that modern, busy people find themselves so disconnected from both themselves and the lives they wish to enjoy.
It is much like the story of the harried executive who went to the desert father and complained about his frustration in prayer, his flawed virtue, and his failed relationships. The hermit listened closely to his visitor’s rehearsal of the struggle and disappointments in trying to lead a Christian life. He then went into the dark recesses of his cave and came out with a basin and a pitcher of water.
“Now watch the water as I pour it into the basin,” he said. The water splashed on the bottom and against the sides of the container. It was agitated and turbulent. At first the stirred-up water swirled around the inside of the basin; then it gradually began to settle, until finally the small fast ripples evolved into larger swells that oscillated back and forth. Eventually, the surface became so smooth that the visitor could see his face reflected in the placid water. “That is the way it is when you live constantly in the midst of others,” said the hermit.
“You do not see yourself as you really are because of all the confusion and disturbance. You fail to recognize the divine presence in your life and the consciousness of your belovedness slowly fades.” It takes time for the water to settle. Coming to interior stillness requires waiting. Any attempt to hasten the process only stirs up the water anew.
The Latest From Our Blog
Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.
Note from TPW: Kara Martin addresses life in the secular workplace, sharing insights to help you lead your congregations to understand their faith and work and also to bring the Kingdom into your own workplace. This was originally posted on March 15, 2017 on...
A Valentine’s Day Tradition What better way to say, “I love you,” than passing your beloved some sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, and glycerin wrapped in a chalkly Necco wafer heart? Maybe some of you remember your fifth grade crush surreptitiously sneaking a bag of...
The Necessity of Memory Memory—or, more actively, remembering—plays an all-important role in our lives. Our culture likes us to focus on the now, "looking forward rather than looking back"—to be people of action, focused on doing—rather than contemplating remembering....