Its been said the Bible is a good book for good people and a bad book for bad people. Jesus says the same thing about our hearts. Dividing people into either good or bad is always a great attention getter that catches us all. Which am I today….
Three treasure boxes one treasure. The first box, our body contains the other two: the heart and mind. Within these boxes things are stored. Sensation and muscle memory are stored in body. The heart has a store of affections and aversions. And the mind counts, compares and stores our experience for reflection or defense.
But the mind has the greatest inventory. The data that is most continuously updated, indexed and analysed is whatever threatens our sense of survival. Therefore, painful and distressing memories command more attention than memories that are positive. We overthink what threatens us which results in a greater store or treasure of negativity.
Jesus says that “out of the abundance of the heart that mouth speaks”. So, when we notice that our mouths are speaking an abundance of “evil treasure” then we mercifully pause and create new words and bring to God whatever desperation is beneath our evil talk. But the key here is “mouth speaks” because often we just think ‘oh, crap, I just said that, I better not let that out again.’ But when we slow down and actually form words and speak them to God we are moving from reaction to intention.
If all we do is “think” our struggles, then we leave God a bystander. When our mouth speaks the truth as prayer God becomes a participant in our struggle. When we remember that God’s love is the true treasure we begin to taste even in our sorrow a little more Divine abundance.
Discerning a vocation is an intentional business. What is extremely important when the vocation challenges you is not to just “think” your stress. Most times when we feel stressed we don’t actually think, which is reasoning from one thing to another, but we obsess. Obsessing just makes our evil treasure produce even more evil treasure which becomes like acid which dissolves the faith that vocation requires.
So the good news is that you can gently stop your obsessing and then form words for your mouth to speak that bring you and God closer and bring you into the treasure of your vocation.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director – OMI Lacombe Canada
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at email@example.com to arrange for an appointment.