Marshall

I spent this past weekend laying low, resting, walking some on the beach, trying better to hear the voice within that seems to be so quiet as of late. I decided yesterday, Sunday, to buy a new book for my Kindle and focus the day on reading it, as I had been feeling sort of unfocused in darting around on my Kindle from book to book, without seeing much of anything from any particular one of my favorite books. That is partly because of the books that I keep there, which I access for moments of reflection, or meditation. I lose my focus when reading some of these works for longer periods of time than one might normally spend when reading for prayer, or mindfulness, or meditation. The Letters of Seneca, or Tolstoy’s Calendar of Wisdom, for example, contain so much rich, inspirational material, that to dwell on this sort of reading all day long is sort of like eating ice cream all day long. The first few bites taste wonderful, but then I become sick from the richness of the flavor.

When taking this reading experience into consideration yesterday, thinking that I should spend the day with some more protracted logic and thinking, rather than nugget-sized ideas, I came across a banner add on a website for a book titled House of Souls: A Psychologists’ Journey to God, by Judy Marshall. I have a record of being mistrustful of psychologists, partly because of all the scientific language they toss about so freely, which, to me, treats the human soul as though it were lab specimen rather than a divine entity. After reading some of the preview material on Marshall’s book, I decided to buy it and spend the day reading it. Yesterday and into the evening I read about 40%, according to the Kindle measuring tool. I have not the time this morning to discuss in as much detail as I would like, but only to say I very much like reading the book. Much of it is the writer’s own journey, some of it is more commentary on the times and culture, some of it a critique of what is wrong with modern psychology.

Some of the transitions in topics felt a little clumsy, but not too bad. Once the transition was made, the new topic of her discussion is quite readable and understandable. The book so far is quite successful for me, in giving me a freshened view of how it is and why it is that people approach a Godly life, and what it means to them. So after much reading, and relearning the idea that the life of faith is all about relationship, experiencing a presence, or friendship with God, through prayer, I felt eager to pray. Something I have not felt much urge to do for a long time. Listening for an interior voice to speak or guide me is one thing, but this reading caused me to want to speak out or reach out, rather than just turn within. This morning I spent a half hour or more in prayer as I drove to work, rather than listening to the radio. The day now seems so much different because I had been anticipating a difficult, bleak, stressful Monday. So far, this day has been much better than that.

When I came through the front door of the building I work in, I noticed right away that the security guard was there early, so I said to her “You’re here early today”. She replied “I am”. Nothing more, just those two words. Those words are special to me because of the spiritual event I had when about 25 years old and asked God to show me a sign as to whether or not he was real and he replied “I am Christ the Lord”, in an audible voice. In this security guard’s reply to me was an echo of my first experience in the spiritual life. Today will probably be a very interesting day for me.

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