Saturday, 14 February 2015
Don’t Let Your Ego Run the Agenda.
My wife Lorna had a hip replacement about four months ago. Since that time she has been working diligently to gain/regain the fullest use of her new hip. I have been most impressed with her tenacious dedication to her rehab routine which until recently required her to do various exercises three times a day. As she noted in a recent blog, New dawn for an old hip https://lmgharris.wordpress.com/, she mentioned that she had missed only one day doing her exercises. I am truly impressed with her determination and dedication and I sure I would have difficulty in being so disciplined in similar circumstances.
One of the reasons—although by no means the only one—why she has been able to be so disciplined is the consistent progress she experienced doing the exercises. She noted that she could see some improvement—however slight—each day. This naturally gave a direct payoff from the effort she was making and encouragement for her to continue each day. I have often wished that my spiritual life had this kind of immediate and consistent payoff. I have been attempting to maintain and deepen my relationship with God for many years through such things as prayer, meditation, being attentive to my dreams, and journaling. However, in my experience the spiritual life does not give as direct and immediate payoff or reinforcement for spiritual practitioners. This is of course my ego-based expectation. My ego desires the immediate gratification and assessment that yes, what I am doing is the right thing and I am getting more and more spiritual and having a closer relationship with God which can be measurable on its terms. As I have written, the ego can be considered God’s greatest gift and God’s greatest challenge for humankind. The ego wants to be the center of existence and want to run each person’s life on its basis. It doesn’t like to give over authority to God and believes it knows best what is right for the individual for its limited perspective. If it acknowledges God it will at least initially be a God that is a reflection of the ego and believes it knows the mind of God which just happens to be the same as the ego’s view of the world. Therefore, if life doesn’t work out as it believes it should, it believes that God is not living up to God’s end of the bargain.
Our spiritual life does not run on our agenda and to our schedule. We have times in the desert—as Jesus did before his public ministry began. There will be dry times when God does not seem to be in our lives—at least on our terms. We will encounter the dark nights of the soul. However, it is our ego speaking when it decides that this means that God has abandoned us. God does not abandon us even if God understanding is not our understanding of our journey with God.
The best advice I know in these times is, “Be still and know that I am God”. Don’t let your ego run the agenda.
Readers of might enjoy my book The Ego and The Bible. It is available on Amazon.ca:
It is also available on Amazon.com: