In Thomas Merton’s meditation for today, he says:
In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life.
“...learn to be detached from the results of our own activity.”
As much as I would like to believe I understand and have mastered detachment, I find it’s often a bit like planning…Our Father has a very long laugh, as He shows me in the gentlest of ways how far I have yet to go to be truly detached.
As I was reading and pondering Merton’s words, I was periodically checking my blog stats, Facebook, Twitter, my email to see if anyone had yet opened one of my recent blog postings or — better yet — ‘liked’ one of them…sent me a note (I cherish those, even if it isn’t very detached!).
I’m such a child with my emotions being tossed and tugged by every bit of outside opinion. Feeling validated by praise; uncertain when there’s no response. Even though, my brain and my heart know that I have a holy purpose that I’m serving, my ego binds me still with its need for hearing, “you’re okay.”
As I said in Getting Started,
It is my prayer that God has drawn you to this place and that you will find it a blessing along your own journey with Him. It would certainly be a blessing for me, if you were to let me know you’re out there. But, as much as I will give thanks to God for leading you to me, to this place, I really have no other choice but to do this divine work.
Merton goes on in this meditation to say:
We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting an immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition.
So, on this first Saturday after Ash Wednesday, I ask Our Father’s help to be content with the product of our work together — His and mine. To seek only His approval. To rest quiet in the certain knowledge that He knows who is searching for just the words He and I have written together. He knows whose heart is ready and waiting to be blessed by Him through me.