Friday, October 31, 2008

Give Me The Reins

"Thanks for helping me get my head screwed back on straight."

Sometimes I arrive for my session with Fr. Charlie feeling like a bobble headed woman in need of a neck adjustment. Yesterday was no exception. Spiritual direction should really be renamed Let's-Peel-Another-Layer-Off-The-Onion, shall we? Some days it feels like baby steps towards something healthier, the layers coming off slowly and carefully and then others it feels like someone's taken a knife to the onion and said, let's get to the core right now.

There's a bit in the Big Book of AA that talks about an alcoholic being like a director who, if everyone else who just follow directions, the play (of life) would be grand, except people don't cooperate very well and it all goes to shit when a person is expecting people to hop to it. I try to direct the whole shebang from time to time. The ensuing anxiety isn't worth it.

Yesterday, during the session, a picture popped into my head of holding a pair of reins and then suddenly flinging them in Jesus direction. I felt like my life was like a pair of runaway horses and I wanted to stick my head in the sand until it settled down again. I doubt there's any merit in head in the sand theology. Jesus gave me back one of the reins, put his arm around my shoulder and those darn horses that had been galloping hither and yon, settled right down and the ride became much less bumpy.

I wanted to judge myself for keeping one of the reins. The whole God is my co-pilot bumper sticker came to mind and how many times I've sighed at the sight. Never mind how much time I've simply driven my life as if God were dead. Then it occured to me that there is much about life that is simply about doing the next right thing. We were given a brain and can function in many everyday capacities without it being a big deal. Sticking my head in the sand was a way of copping out - as if God would tell me everything from what colour of shoes to wear to whether or not I needed to wash the dishes before bed. I can only imagine God sighing, "give me a break". No wonder Jesus gave me back one of the reins. However, sticking my head in the sand over stuff that I need divine direction for, is going to make for one bumpy ride.

I doubt if life's circumstances will miraculously be smoothed out overnight. I do know that when I'm not trying to run the whole damn thing the ride will feel much less bumpy. I can hear my bobble headed neck thanking me already.