I found meaning in everything around me – the people I cared for, the jobs I did, the organizations I belonged to…I forgot to look inside.
When all of those things are stripped away and I am left in the disconcerting silence, pondering who I am, the urge grips me to just busy myself with something else. Find meaning in that.
But not this time.
I have been happily trying to make sense of this “alone” time, using it as best I can to learn how to help my students, stick to my little routines of health and fitness, and do a bit more reading than I usually have time for.
But in the midst of this time on my own, suddenly I channel thoughts that say “I am not important to anyone.” Or ones that whisper “Everyone else is special except for you” or even “I don’t like myself”. I’m not sure who or where these thoughts come from. A ghost from the past? An evil little demon who got bored and happened by my house? Most likely a lingering lie from my childhood.
So I have decided to use this time – where all other distractions are taken away – to be sure that I get to the root of these pesky lies and BANISH them. Who let them in anyways?
Scriptures tell me that I am a child of God, a “temple” for His spirit to indwell and to reflect His beauty and light and love and grace. I have a purpose – a beautiful purpose. I am special.
Scriptures also tell the story of how Christ reacted when he found that greedy, short-sighted people had misused the holy temple in Jerusalem. They had set up counterfeit weights and all manners of ripping off, tricking and deceiving those who came with good intent. They were taking advantage of others. Lying to them.
Christ was angry. He basically called them out, flipped their tables, and sent them packing.
I am His temple also.
And He will not stand for twisted, counterfeit and deceitful practices to take away from my purpose and misuse who I am.
But in my lifelong frantic search for meaning, I may have allowed some beliefs to take hold that DO NOT BELONG. I think I let them in in a moment of weakness or busyness, without fully vetting them.
And once lies are in, when others come to me, into my temple, they may think they are getting something real – but because I have allowed something inauthentic to set up shop, I am not always what they think I am. I am not always what I think I am. There is deceit – either naive self-deceit or a willful shutting of the eyes – inside the temple walls.
So in this time of quiet, I have invited him to flip my tables.
To expose the crap, the fake, the diseased lies that linger around and poison my mind and heart.
To rid my “temple” of them.
To set things straight.
Silence can be unnerving for us when we are used to constant noise and activity.
It makes us uncomfortable.
We want to fill it as quickly as possible.
But the challenge is to sit with it long enough to hear…to see…to understand…what is true and what is not. To unmask the deceit that we have accepted as truth. To unveil the subtle abuse in the treatment we have allowed. To point to our true worth and value. Or to finally understand where our meaning lies.
I hope and pray that in this season of quiet, during Passover and leading up to the celebration of Easter, you will also allow Truth to topple the tables of deceit in your life. You will sit with the silence until you realize it really has a lot to say. You will resist the urge to bury yourself in more busyness while you wait for “normal” to return so that our usual distractors will take over.
May this time bring freedom and order to our inner “temples” so that the actions that spring from it reflect authenticity, truth and wisdom!
“Words can be twisted into any shape. Promises can be made to lull the heart and seduce the soul. In the final analysis, words mean nothing. They are labels we give things in an effort to wrap our puny little brains around their underlying natures, when ninety-nine percent of the time the totality of the reality is an entirely different beast. The wisest man is the silent one. Examine his actions. Judge him by them.”Karen Marie Moning