Inner Volleying

by Ray Reuter on March 2, 2017

One of the graces I have received as I continue to grow older is the the gift of awareness. That does not imply that I always make the best choices given this gift. There is a sizeable gap between awareness and behavior! However, awareness is the initial step in growth, in getting better. I cannot grow or change what I do not see. Greater awareness leads to more conscious behavioral choices.

I received this “gift” recently in the role of caregiver for my wife as she recovers from surgery. I was acutely aware of my own turmoil between being a compassionate and merciful giver, and being a selfish and bitter taker. It was like I was watching an inner tennis match volleying back-and-forth. On the one hand I was loving and compassionate, and on the other hand I was resentful and angry at the impact this situation was having on me. Who would win when it came to acting out? I noted that this awareness was neither good nor bad; it was neutral. I was careful not to judge it, and simply to accept and examine it.

It reminded me of the quarreling dialogue between Smeagol and Gollum, good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, service vs. selfishness, the needs / wants of others vs. my needs. It is constant. Which then led to an even greater gift of awareness — the awareness of Jesus who was (and is) unwavering and relentless in being compassionate and merciful. Jesus often says, “Follow me.” So the takeaway / insight is to receive and embrace the gift of awareness, and then when it is time to act, follow Him. That’s a winner every time.

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