Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Wild water

Thinking of the old, the new, the year passing, the year coming.

These days, because of the way my daily routine works out, though I try to be mindful and walk humbly with my God every day, it is every other day that I have my close, deep, quiet time, seeking the mind of God, sorting out issues, and lifting all of you and all of my offline people into the holy light of his blessing.

Today in that quiet time, I talked with him about a particular relational situation that has occupied my mind in recent times. And I saw into it more clearly, saw something new.

I saw that, in a group setting, I had wanted to influence the feelings of the other group members towards the one with whom I had a particular difficulty. I wanted there to be kindness and compassion, gentleness and generosity, from everybody – but in the case of this particular individual I wanted to be the one to give permission for this generosity to happen, wanted others to wait until I said the kindness could be released. I wanted to occupy the high moral ground of being the Generous Person. In short, I wanted to be right. When others showed their own kindness to the person I had issues with, or celebrated that person’s goodness and positive contribution, I was not pleased – I was irritated. I hadn’t given permission yet!

Gazing into this, what I saw was that I’d wanted to be the lock-keeper, running my life (and the lives involved with mine) like a canal under my governance. I would say what passed through. I would open the gates. The water would flow under my command.

And the Spirit asked for this change: that I trade it for wild water – let it be a river with its own living flow. That I not control it but observe it – like the Ferryman in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha*. Not determining, but seeing. Letting go of the need to be right, to occupy jealously the post of Righteous One.

In this would lie my peace.

I have no idea why I’m telling you this except that I thought it was interesting and perhaps you might think so too.


*"It is this what you mean, isn't it: that
the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the
waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains,
everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not
the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future?"

(Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha Ch 9)


Rebecca said...

Oh, yes! Quite interesting. And instructive, too. It came at just the right time....just as I was about ready to "control the gate". Again.

Pen Wilcock said...

Well, that's what I thought, friend - these things in our lives, they tend to be matters we *all* struggle with and have to pass through, in working out our salvation. xx

Bean said...

Very interesting, and when I ponder upon it it is very true. I can see clearly that I too have felt this way in various situations.

Wishing you and yours a blessed and peaceful Christmas.


Pen Wilcock said...


Happy Christmas to you and yours, too, friend xx

Paula said...

There is a book on my shelf entitled "Don't Push the River (it flows by itself)."

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Yes - "Don't push the river" was one of the favourite sayings of my previous husband, Bernard (who died in 2004). Wise words. xx

Anonymous said...

In my pained confusion of religion, what you described actually sounds Biblical to me, or with that basis, especially even considering yourself as having been a minister of Christ?

Pen Wilcock said...


Thank you, friend. I hope so. x

Rapunzel said...

Years ago a spiritual teacher advised me to Let Go of the Need To Be Right.
As I did so the entire world fell completely apart. Scared the very hell out of me.
And then,little by little,the world put itself back together again, and made a great deal more sense than it had made when I was in charge of it.
And now that I don't have to be right every day is much easier, for me and no doubt for everyone who has to deal with me.

May you too be blessed with such ease!

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Happy Christmas! May 2015 be a good one xx

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I too struggle mightily with wanting to control that gate. God grant us perseverance in our endeavours.

Pen Wilcock said...


I think, somehow, it's about ceasing to struggle. Swapping struggling for just noticing and not being drawn in. Getting the knack of it, like learning to rie a bike. xx

LANA said...

Very interesting, indeed. I have control issues myself, it is always a struggle to not own situations or people. Go with the flow has become my mantra.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx