Skip to main content

Vortices of the Mind

It comes upon you after an oasis of communion, that blitz of prayer, or rise of spiritual thought. You abided and ate . . . four days ago. But today is now. Now, you have left behind that updraft and glided over the wilderness again upon your own frail wings. 

Imperceptibly, you start to sink. And such deviation of ill-fitted inclinations scrapes you against those in formation. A jostle and quiver of wings renders you liable to high winds. And the vortices that spin at this altitude come to raze all flesh to the ground. 

They implicate you with such whispers of ideas you think are your own, and if you follow the bait into the whirlwind, it’s down to the mire you go.

"Remember what you did.
Remember all who saw.
They think of it now and grimace
Wondering how could you dare.
And now you presume to speak?
Now you presume to join?
You aren't worthy of their company.
They're just too polite to say stay at home.
Save them the trouble and don't go
For you shall always be out looking in."

Her son swims without aid, 
He wrestles tough and reads words. 
But your son still sucks his fingers. 
And cries at the smallest of things. 
He’ll be at the bottom of his class
And chased by the bullies at school.
If only you hadn’t coddled so much,
He may’ve had a chance at normalcy.”

“He doesn’t care about your hurt.
He didn’t even hear what you said.
He assumed he already knew
And then advised without understanding.
He’ll never interpret you properly
Because he’s too selfish to empathize
And too condescending to comfort.
Just cut him out of your life 
Until he can get it right.”

“No heads turned your way today,
Not a man or admiring woman.
You’ve lost all your luster and vim
And fallen to the status of frump.
Maybe products or clothes.
Maybe a treatment or two.
But you’re no competition for 
What your man sees everyday.
How could anyone cherish to love you?”

James Smart "Dust"
Down in that funnel, the wings curl in, flightless and sickly and gaunt. There, debris fills the mouth while the mind is ill breeding callousness and faithlessness and contempt. It’s familiar because you've entered these vortices before and been ravaged by what that voice says. 

But today amidst the howling, you feel the slip and put up your hands. Today the prince of the power of the air will not take you in. Today you’ll not plummet to those depths because today you gasp for help.

Subtly and silently, the pressure of His wings lifts you up against His heart. You hear it beating with assurances that long ago gave you wings.

“I died for this too.
I say you are worthy.
I’ve made all things new.
I am maker, creator,
Power over all.
Let justice be mine to wield.
And above all of this abide.”

You pant as you look at the winds that’ve cast you down so oft. “But what of those?” you ask, and He replies in rhythm with His word.

“The enemy strikes in the jostling
That earth-born bodies will do.
And those jostlings are the same ones
That to me bind frail wings unto.

So like the eyes of a faithful husband
Turning from every enticement,
Bounce your thoughts off the mind’s titillations 
When the devil first makes suggestion.

Turn your thoughts then unto my words,
And I will wrench you from gravity's pull 
For I am stronger than whirlwinds aloft
And more satisfying than old habits' lull.

Give me your daily meditations.
Don’t wait for the fear to betide.
Then no thought over you will have mastery
When you in me do abide. 

“I saw then in my dream, so far as this valley reached, there was on the right hand a very deep ditch; that ditch is it into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and have both there miserably perished. Again, behold, on the left hand, there was a very dangerous quag, into which, if even a good man falls, he can find no bottom for his foot to stand on. Into that quag King David once did fall, and had no doubt therein been smothered, had not He that is able plucked him out.” 
-John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress

Smart, James. Dust. Digital image. Independent. National Geographic, 30 Dec. 2015. Website 30 July 2017.>.


Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story. I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work. Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvation

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer     I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures. Type 2: The Helper     No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else. Type 3: The Performer    I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't. Type 4: The Individualist     I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional. Type 5: The Observer     I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision. Type 6: The Guardian     I q

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to hear them fight. I want them to feel their emotions and understand them, But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate. I want them to choose to obey me, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to fill their own time with play, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good. I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I wa