I’m a five. I’m definitely a five. And it’s kind of painful. I thought I was a 9 which I really loved. I want to be a peacemaker. And I am definitely an avoider of conflict. But I am private, introspective, curious, and quiet. I spend a great deal of time thinking, studying, and preparing to do. I want to be capable and competent.
I just finished reading (for the first time) the book “The Sacred Enneagram” by Christopher Huertz. I am forever transformed. The book is brilliant in defining each type and various components of how we relate and retreat. The second part of the book connects our type to specific challenges to encounter God through contemplative practices. This is the part I am just embarking on and I already know it will be quite challenging.
CONSENT TO SILENCE
My mind is never quiet. And sitting in quiet where I choose to turn off the noise in my brain seems not only impossible, but also willfully giving up control. Yes, God is on control, not me. But willfully choosing quiet seems self-destructive, scattered, impulsive and nonproductive. Why would I choose to be nonproductive?
Less of me, and more of Him. I am not in control. If Jesus is to shine in and through me it is because Jesus is in control and using His voice through me.
I have talked before about how Philippians 4:6-7 seemed impossible to me.
Philippians 4:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Until somehow it didn’t. I could at least TRY. And peace has come to me. Not from anything I have done, except for a willingness to try and pray. Thank you Jesus.
And now, I see my new challenge.
Romans 12:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I need to stop. Just stop. Stop searching for my own answers. Stop my willful desire to be in charge and find my own solutions. It feels burdensome and overwhelming.
This is my prayer.
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Isaiah 55 New International Version (NIV)
Invitation to the Thirsty
55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
Thanks be to God.
And for more clarity about the HOPE that I see as I grow in my faith and understanding, I am grateful for the words and music of sleeping at last that has artfully communicated the enneagram 5 in music form. Only after reflection in the scripture do I see the beauty of surrender and consent.
And now I want to generously lose
This energy that I’ve been hanging onto so desperately
I finally feel the universe expand—
It’s hidden in heartbeats, exhales
And in the hope of open hands