Addendum August, 2007

  In the realm of the soul
we usually become unbalanced
and out of sorts with such great energy flowing through us.  
Storms build in us.  
We lack the maturity and years of experience
to hold such energy wisely and constructively.  

So, we tend to veer off to some extreme
expressions of emotion and personality.
Something must be done to reduce and contain
the excessive extremes of excitement that are being generated.  

One or a combination of these five areas
may be inflated on our journey:
(1) excessive appetite—addictions flaring up;
(2) inflated hearing—hearing more that is really present,
reading into situations like a know-it-al;
(3) extreme fiery emotions—
angers flaring up, short tempers;
(4) ungrounded vision—
lacking a sense of reality and practicality; and
(5) short-sided judgment—
quick to fault-find, harshness in decision-making.

The soul enjoys having a good appetite
for the heights and depths of feeling and imagination.
It can hear deeply into life and remain open,
be tempered in its use of strong emotion,
discerning and keen in its peering into the reality of things,
and shatters the walls that have entombed it.  

However, these five qualities
are adolescent in our early travels of soul
and may need many experiences to temper
and mature them into adulthood.  
We call this process sanctification.  

As we journey along
opportunities arise that mold and mature our lives.
In the heat of summer we experience some of this discipline.  

  “Children, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when He rebukes you
because the Lord disciplines those He loves
and He rebukes everyone He accepts as His child.  
Endure hardship as discipline;
God is treating you as His own.   
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while
as they thought best;
but God disciplines us for our good,
that we may share in His holiness.  
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  
Later on, however, it produces a
harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:5-11).

  Rumi writes a poem about discipline.  
Some of us are scolded and then left to our own.  
Some of us receive pity when we should be disciplined.
The best discipline leads to clarity
and eventually leads us into the open.
Hopefully we can be a “tough instructor,”
maturing those areas in us that need discipline.

The Core of Masculinity

The core of masculinity does not derive from being male,
nor friendliness from those who console.
Your old grandmother says,
“Maybe you shouldn’t go to school. You look a little pale.”

Run when you hear that.  A father’s stern slaps are better.
Your bodily soul wants comforting.  
The severe father wants spiritual clarity.
He scolds, but eventually leads you into the open.

Pray for a tough instructor to hear and act and stay within you.
We have been busy accumulating solace.
Make us afraid of how we were.