A “wild” man is a man who has a desire to break out of the conventional “box” of religion and culture, which assumes that men are in the business of creating their own self image. When men allows themselves the space to listen to “the inner voice” of the Spirit they become aware that there is more to their spiritual life then they are either experiencing or even aware of. In the process of going about creating a self image, men have lost touch with their souls. We spend our lives on the surface of reality. As Parker Palmer observes, “The soul wants to keep us rooted in the ground of our own being, resisting the tendency of other faculties, like the intellect and ego, to uproot us from who we are.” He quotes Mary Oliver as saying, “Nobody know what the soul is…it comes and goes/like the wind over the water.” The soul can not be tamed by our effort and discipline. There is a wildness to the soul that is frightening to us men. When we come to the threshold, daring to move beyond our rational need for understanding and the ego’s need to control, we pull back from this untapped source that we knows lies deep in our “tank.”
But this is where we need to venture if we are to move beyond trying so hard to be a “good Christian guy” (these are the guys that are reading this blog). It is the journey of becoming more aware of what is already there. It is a journey home. Home is that place where we are united with Christ at the center of our being, where our “life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). You don’t need to go digging around in depths of your soul. The key is to allow yourself to become aware of what is already there. We begin to do this by “sinking” with our mind into our hearts. Remember this occurs when we simple sit, becoming still and gaze upon the Lord. We come to the realization that a lot of our religious activity really prevent us from hearing his voice.
In this process of learning to listen and gazing upon the Lord, we will be brought to the point of sincere repentance, when we acknowledge that we have to change. The change is one that moves us from willfulness to willingness. Willfulness says, “I will do it my way.” It has been hard for me to admit that much of my spiritual life has been based on my will power and effort, rather receiving the grace and mercy of God. Willingness says, “I surrender.” We learn to surrender to love. When we can let go and begin to surrender to love, we will be listening to and following the voice of the Father calling us home. At first it will seem a bit foreign, since many of us have lived so far from home. But as we become more settled in the letting go, we become aware of our deepest desires. These are the desires that God has put there for fellowship with him. Here we encounter the energy and vitality of the Holy Spirit. It can be compared to becoming aware of the light of His presence bringing vitality and life to the hidden parts of our soul. New energy will be released as we learn to let go.
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