It was quite wonderful a couple of weeks ago to spend the weekend with my good Spirit brother in Christ Aundre (that’s him on the left) down at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana. Back in 2012 he and I both felt the “Pneuma nudge” to start a dad’s prayer group at our daughters’ elementary school, and we’ve been tightly bonded ever since. I’ve met very few people who are as Spirit attuned and led as Aundre. We had been wanting to do a weekend together at the monastery for over a year, and it did not disappoint in the joy it brought us.
Whenever I spend a weekend “on the hill” as they say, it never fails that I hear a message or more from Jesus, as the campus is so very conducive to the quieting of the mind, and filled with the presence of Christ.
The word I heard on this particular excursion was “Forcestart“. (Apparently it’s not an official word for the dictionary, but the Spirit doesn’t always use words from our dictionaries.) Forcestart to overcome the inertia of lethargy, as well as the fear of a task or the distaste for a task.
It takes an incredible amount of energy to propel a rocket or space shuttle out of the atmosphere and escape the pull of gravity. In the same way, it takes a kiloton or two sometimes to get me to perform a dutiful task, even a small one. The Holy Spirit was simply and plainly telling me that, at times, you just have to force yourself to do the bare minimum to get started, because beginning is typically what requires the most energy and therefore is the most difficult part. After a shuttle is blasted into space, the booster rockets fall away, and it is relatively smooth sailing from that point on as far as energy and fuel requirements go. Likewise, when I do force myself to start something I really need to do, not only does the work inevitably begin to flow, but I also find that it is always worth it. It always feels good and right to accomplish something meaningful.
Now I’m talking about more than merely setting out the garbage on Tuesday nite. For example, on this particular weekend away, I had brought with me two “Letters to my Daughter” journals (we have two daughters). Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to write down affirmations and life lessons I would like for them to know and have in written form. This is an extremely meaningful practice, but I often times find myself putting it off because it can feel daunting and intimidating. “You must write perfect and epic letters every single time, Robert!” I will hear a voice demand of me and quickly feel overwhelmed. But then, thankfully, there’s that still small voice of gentleness and peace whispering, “Just write. They will cherish every word because it is from your heart. Remember, done is better than perfect, for perfect will never get done.” So I forced myself to simply write “Dear Gabriela,” and before I knew it, a full page of something beautiful and lasting was made manifest.
The other aspect of this is the need to put aside the easy and self-serving in favor of the more meaningful and long-lasting. I love reading, so I brought some books with me to the archabbey, but there came the time to put the book down and write letters to my daughters, or email my friend in prison, or thank my wife for being amazing…. Reading is not a bad thing, but it was the easy and more self-serving task in this particular instance which had to be set aside to make room for that which is of paramount importance at this juncture. Was it better for me to tally up yet another book finished? Or take some time out to strengthen the attachment with my family? Hmmm, I wonder. (Related to this, how many seasons of shows do I need to watch before finally taking the time to intentionally bless someone? Sheesh.)
Is there anything in your life right now which you need to set aside in order to forcestart something more meaningful for life, for others?