Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Step Seven - Humility, Surrender and Trust

GospelJohn 10:22-30 

It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied:
‘I have told you, but you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness;
but you do not believe,
because you are no sheep of mine.
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life;
they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.’

Step Seven -  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

In the native american fable of 'Jumping Mouse'  a little mouse yearns for a sound that only he can hear and, despite the mocking voices of his family,  goes in search of it. 

Along the way he meets many animals who guide him fearfully but determinedly along his way until he comes to the bank of the roaring rapids of a mighty river; he has found his voice. Quivering at the edge of the bank he looks into the ripples and sees the reflection of a very frightened little mouse. 

The guardian of the river, a frog, offers to make him as strong as the mighty river. 
'Crouch down as low as you can and bow to the river', said Frog.'then jump as high as you can and you will receive your medicine'. 

The mouse crouched down in a cowering bow and then leapt up to make himself look tall. As he reached the peak of his jump, he sees across the river to the purple shadows and sparkling peaks of the Sacred Mountains. His heart leapt higher than he did at the sight of them. 

Suddenly, he finds himself gasping for breath and shaking water from his ears as he falls into the swirling chill of the water. He turns on Frog and shouts 'You tricked me!'

'No trick.' laughs Frog 'you came here timid and shaking and now, you have let go your fear and found your strength. You have become brave, you are now Jumping Mouse, now you can go home with pride.'

Jumping Mouse bowed to Frog in thanks. 'But I don't want to go home, I want to go to the Sacred Mountain.' 
'The water is my place,' said Frog, 'but I will take you across so that you can continue your quest.'
Again, Jumping Mouse meets other animals along the way. Those that lead him on and those that stand in his way. As he begins to realise his small place in the Garden of Life, he feels compassion for an injured wolf and bear which results in him giving away his eyes, but he still holds the vision of the Sacred Mountain.

Eventually he reaches the foothills of the Sacred Mountain, too weary to move any further and aware of the whistling calls of eagles circling above. As he sinks to the ground he feels exhausted but at peace.

A tiny voice whispered in his head. 'Jumping Mouse, use your medicine, your medicine.'

With the last of his strength, Jumping Mouse crouches low, humbly,  giving thanks for his adventures and the gifts he had received and given away. Then, with the last of his strength he leaps up so mightily that he feels his heart break as he prepares to be sacrificed to the mightiest of birds.

So frail now, he is caught by the wind and feels himself buffeted by the air currents but he does not fall. 

'Trust me now. Open your eyes,' the voice calls gently. Jumping Mouse opens his new clear eyes to find the Sacred Mountain sweeping away below him and the shadow of an eagle crossing the ridges and paths. Looking over his shoulder he sees the silky copper threads of feathers - he is the eagle!
Following the voice in his mind; far, far below he picks out the golden eyes of Frog, beaming with joy. 

'Humility, Service and Trust, Jumping Mouse; fine medicine; fine medicine indeed!
And Eagle, who was once Jumping Mouse who was once fearful soars away into the bright sun and the wide sky.

Step Seven Prayer 
My Creator,
I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and  bad.
I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character
which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do Your will. 

The story of Jumping Mouse belongs to many tribes. My offering is shorter than many but written with acknowledgement to their teaching.



claire said...

Oh, well, you have me in tears, Word.

Word in the Hand said...

Good tears, I hope (((claire)))

jinjan59 said...

..and they shall rise on wings like eagles.. what a story, and I too am reduced to tears again by your words - good tears :0) Jx

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