Saturday, April 4, 2009

Race Report

Please do not skim over the following excerpts from my lesson. It is these which I chose for my spiritual framework for today and the meaning I found in my endeavor comes from this decision, made before hand. I actually wanted something different out of today, not the usual round of self glory followed by dissatisfaction urging me to seek some higher worldly endeavor; and then I’ll be happy.

Prelude to the race: Lesson 135

- A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it.

- A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve.

-…to be the means of helping in a plan which far exceeds its (the body’s) own protection…

-…self initiated plans are but defenses.

- It (the unhealed mind) does not think that it will be provided for, unless it makes its own provisions.

- What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took.

- Let no defenses (plans) but your present trust direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth that only your defenses (plans) would conceal.

- Without defenses (plans), you become a light which heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own.

- We will anticipate that time today with present confidence, for this is part of what was planned for us. We will be sure that everything we need is given us for our accomplishment of this today. We make no plans for how it will be done, but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.

-… If there are plans to make, you will be told of them…. they are answers to another kind of question

- Now is the light of hope reborn in you, for now you come without defense, to learn the part for you within the plan of God.

- Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you can not conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning.

Early morning before the race:

At no time have I felt the Course and my Teacher hit me upside the head as today’s lesson. Today’s lesson instantly ripped my senseless and self centered plans from me and left my life today open as a blank slate for God. I became perfectly willing for God to be my Author and Authority for today. You see, today was not at all my idea. My idea was to go in a marathon last weekend; not a half marathon this weekend. In addition, my mind is directed to look for things beyond finish times: “…to learn the part for you within the plan of God.” As I was meditating this morning, I realized, in a dramatic fashion, all of my life since leaving the monastery has not been my plan: “…, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good.” My life is forfeit. I give myself totally to the Author.

So here I am, going in a race I didn’t plan for reasons unknown to me, for God’s higher purpose than to keep my body safe. I am defenseless (without plans) because I want to know God more than I want to fulfill my ego desires. I wrote this in my journal before going, “Today I am not looking for a ‘time under 2 hours.’ I am looking for God’s plan. My whole focus is on going-along with the Author, not my ego.”

Post Race Recap:

I had an uneventful drive, except I got lost trying to find the off ramp for the right street. It was 45F but with a 25 to 35 mph wind. I decided to wear the vest instead of the wind breaker anyway. The first thing I did was ditch the 1:55 pacer because the fool was planning on running a 9”40’ first mile. At 3 miles, I was at 25:xx minutes. I’m sure my eye brows raised at that. At 10+ miles, I low fived the hand of a four year old. I’m sure that made all the difference. I finished in a personal best time of 1:55:xx (about 8:40 a mile). I got in the car and left. I drove to Leavenworth for groceries. I came home and showered and napped. I felt like a zombie.

At all previous times, if I had a running victory (personal best), I would run around and brag to everybody and expect them to praise me. Today was different; I felt like a zombie. I ran like a zombie; fast but emotionless. I felt like the Vulcan (Star Trek) I was named after when I was in college: Spock.

Here are my revelations, my meaningful encounters with truth. First was a bit of honesty. I had expectations that if I turned my plans over to God that I would get to feel higher ecstasy than I ever had. Instead, my zombiedom was being accepted in my heart as inner peace and silent joy; unspeakably quiet happiness. My ego may have been pouting, but my truth was meeting the deeper plan of God which had only to do with being an instrument, with being something authored, not the Authority. If I had a personal best (or a personal worst for that matter) it was none of my business. It was the first time I experienced a personal best without having any idea “what problem the plan was made to solve.”

I experienced being what I have dreamed of being for a long time: an unknown woman, an unseen mystery and an enigma of phenomenal energy. I was a silent solitary, carrying the eyes of God, present in the crowd; a woman of prayer there to run.

And then I had to experience some fear: Does fulfilling the part God assigns to me mean I have no hoopla? Will I be consigned to a life of zombiedom? I paused for my usual introspection and listening. I felt the meaning of quiet joy as authentic happiness bubbled noiselessly from my inner depths. I had grasped a feeling not of this world. The personal best at running was merely a symbol of what had been earlier created in the realm of the spirit. If there are no kudos or hoopla, what is valuable to me? Value is about the awesome energy connection I made with the 4 year old. Desperately cool Christ vision was experienced as I later connected with the woman who was my age, sacking my groceries, who probably couldn’t run a step.

This morning I was one of many runners. There was nothing unique or special about me. I was willing to be nothing and have no ego possessions because I wanted to learn about God’s plan more than I wanted to learn about littleness. The hermitage is made of inner peace and the conscious presence of God. This morning, I was for the first time, a hermit with my hermitage perceptibly with me. The unknown woman has discovered she lives in silent divinity always.

Holiness abounds. Question answered. Holiness, the presence of God is every where and in every thing. I have not exchanged holiness to give my ego a cheap thrill. The question I asked to start the day was not about my personal glory; how great am I? I didn’t have a plan for self aggrandizement. The question was about defenselessness; how can I not plan the outcome I want? I planned to let God be my Author.

My meaningful encounter with truth? God is.

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