This morning I decided to kill three birds with one stone: I would meditate, whiten my teeth, and start to learn self-discipline. I sat down and the LORD said to me: "You have not yet learned to suffer (for my sake)." He was right. So I said, "baby steps." I would set my alarm for 10 minutes, sit on my cushion, and not move until the alarm went off.
I put some teeth whitener in a tray and put it in my mouth. It got all foamy after a few minutes and I was uncomfortable. I don't like being uncomfortable. But here I was, 9 minutes left on the clock, and I'm hurting. But I said, "don't move." I so wanted to check the clock...just to make sure I set the alarm right, I rationalized. After what seemed like a long time, everything was still quiet. Why hadn't the alarm gone off yet? I felt like a dog with rabies with the tray in my mouth getting all foamy, and it was starting to burn a little. I took little swallows and some of the teeth whitening jawn slipped down my throat.
I kept second guessing whether or not I had set the alarm right. I wanted to check it so badly. I tried to pay attention to my breathing. This was pathetic. I couldn't even sit still for ten minutes without whining. But this was not the place for chastising. Whatever I did here, whatever effort I made, it was all good, and acceptable to God, because I was trying to learn to suffer for his sake, to endure discomfort, and learn how to be patient. It was all I could do not to check the alarm. Just the other day I got impatient with my bean and pepper seedlings for not shooting up fast enough, and I dug them up just to make sure the seeds were good. Oi. I think about Zorba and the butterfly.
I went to the chapel on campus yesterday before class and sat before the LORD. I left my bag on the marble step behind me, knelt, and closed my eyes. Someone came and knelt next to me for a little while, then got up. I thought, 'I should check my bag.' But the LORD said, 'Trust me.' I figured it was still there, that the LORD wouldn't let anyone take it while I was with him. But you never know, you know? I had work files in there, and a half a ham sandwich! I really wanted to turn around, just to take a little peak for reassurance, but the LORD said, 'trust me.' So I did. I said, ok, and when I got up my bag was still there.
So here I am in agony all foamy-mouthed sitting on my cushion by the sofa and straining to keep my back straight and my mind from wandering and wanting to get up whether the alarm goes off or not fuck it what difference does it make anyway? And the LORD said, "If you cannot learn to endure these little things, how will you learn to die for me?" He was right. I babied myself. I said, ok, one more minute, I will trust. So I squim and squirm for another minute and feel small victory. Then another minute. Then the alarm goes off. And it was a little feeling...feeling slightly embarrassed at all my whining, but feeling the little feeling of being unashamed, and in a small way, victorious.