This is a chapter in Thomas Merton's "New Seeds of Contemplation". What a blessing this chapter was to me this morning.
I relish the way that God moves. Yesterday my wife and I had a disagreement. My idea of preparing for retirement is to intentionally rid ourselves of most of our possessions and the responsibility associated with them. When my wife suggested that we add some furniture to our bedroom I resisted vehemently even though the furniture she was talking about was free from some friends of ours that had purchased new when they moved into a furnished home. We compromised by getting rid of some of the furniture we have so we'd have no net gain.
While we were at odds over this issue, several other long-distance-type disagreements came up and we were using the "always" and "nevers" that Satan has taught us from childhood. I'm very good at this and WIN every time our conversations sink to this level. I wish I'd have read the above chapter before this struggle but I hadn't. I steamed, then I sulked, then I played some guitar, and finally I prayed (why Lord do I continue to come to the solution AFTER I've hurt her). I went to my beauty in humility, not contrived humility but genuine, Spirit-birthed, humility, and begged her forgiveness for sinking to the cowardice of having to win an argument. Rejoice!, Rejoice!, another victory over death at the hand of the one God whose saving Grace and boundless mercy guides me and strenghtens me and calls me on the carpet when I stray! Build in me a fortress against my own fleshy nature Lord! Give my words meaning not confusion, love not controversy, healing not wounding, understanding and not religion and chains.