This may seem like a strange title for a bog about wildmen. The idea of men not being the weather came to me as I was rereading a book entitled “Into the Silent Land” by Martin Laird. Laird makes the point, which I have had a hard time to accept over the years, that I am not my thoughts. Now that might sound strange to men who are continually going around and around in their heads, thinking this is who they really are. No, this is not true. We are much more. There is a deeper place within where we are one with God. Think it of it as the center, where you are one with Christ. Listen, for example to these words of Jesus. “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. This being “in” is beyond our understanding and control.
So what about all our thoughts, feelings and imaginings. What are they. Well, listen to what Laird has to say. “The marvelous world of thoughts, sensation,emotions and inspiration….are all patterns of stunning weather on the holy mountain of God. But we are not the weather. We are the mountain. Weather happens….this is undeniable. But if we think we are the weather happening on Mount Zion the the fundamental truth of our union with God remains obscured and our sense of painful alienation heightened. When the mind is brought to stillness we see that we are the mountain and not the changing patterns of weather appearing on the mountain.”
For me this as been a wonderful realization – I am not the weather. All the junk that floats around in my thoughts and emotions is a product of who I am, in my fallen state before God. I am a man who is getting more familiar with all that is buried within. The result has been at times some unpleasant weather produced by my thoughts and feelings. As I have been able to accept that these are a part of me, I am less frightened or resistant to the weather patterns. But because “my life is hidden with Christ in God” I have also come to know that my true self in Christ is beyond the weather patterns. Together with God’s help, the storms are lessening in my soul. The storms that do occur I am able to accept as part of the growth process.
Men, I hope in some small way you are grasping what I am trying to say. For me it has meant the difference between self-rejection and acceptance of who I really am.. Yes, I have all these storms in me that I keep facing. Storms that have brought me shame, self-loathing and self-pity. But in these last years, I have been able to look at the stroms and know that they are a product of my life, having lived in a particular manner. God by his grace is allowing me to see the storms and the effect they have had on my soul. As I come to him in humility and repentance, together we calm the storms. The thoughts and feelings lose some of their intensity and I come to rest in who I am. I am God’s beloved.
So I hope you can remember that you are not the storm. You are far more then the storms in your soul. It is important that you acknowledge the storms as a part of your story as you journey into more and more wholeness in Jesus. But beyond the storms you are someone who is in Christ. That is the deepest part of you. To become aware of this reality, is to learn to practice silence before God and to come into some inner stillness. I can not stress the practice of silence to much. Don’t get discouraged by the stormy weather you will encounter. Face and accept the weather. Endure the violent winds that will come. As you learn to endure the storms as a natural part of the journey, you will more and more have times of sunshine and calm, as you rest in who you really are – The beloved of God