What word? Obedience, that's what word.
God is pounding hard on me right now. Mostly, I think, because I'm whining and he is telling me what to do to fix what I'm whining about. And he's making me start with the hardest thing first. Not my natural inclination.
Let me back up a bit. I go to adoration every Friday. Have done for years. Wouldn't miss it. It's the still center point of my week.
Sometimes I learn things that I would rather not learn. Ain't that always the way?
One time, Smock asked me, "Doncha just HATE it when God whaps you upside the head in the grocery store?"
Yeah, but mostly he does his whapping on me during adoration.
Over the years I have done many things at adoration. I've prayed the rosary. I've fallen asleep (and no, I'm not ashamed of that). I've read spiritual books. I've just sat in the presence of God and been still. Once I took my budget in--during a particularly hard time several years ago, when we had mounting medical bills and a not equally mounting salary--and let God look at it. (Hey, Mother Angelica did the same thing with EWTN's bills. I'm in good company!)
Last Friday I finished the biography of the Cure of Ars that I had been reading. I wept myself silly at the end of the book, comparing his holiness with my worldliness. Not a pretty picture. As I gradully controlled myself, I began telling God, "I need more space in my life. I need more physical space. I need more mental space. I need more space in time. Help me find space."
And sure as anything, words came to me. And I know they're not MY words, 'cause they are absolutely the last words I would have chosen to say to myself.
Start with your books.
Start with your books. Get rid of a lot. You don't have to own everything you've read.
Can't I start with something else? Give me a break here.
Start with your books. Do the hardest thing first. You want space. MAKE space.
So, I went home, shaken to the core. Stood in front of my shelves.
How 'bout I start with my closets?
Start with your books.
So, what good does it do me to ask, if I won't do what I'm told?
So, I'm starting with the books. My library will be substantially smaller. I'm keeping only those books I adore. Those books I can see myself opening again. It surprised me, once I got the guts to start, how many books I was keeping that I thought were just OK. Or books that I liked, but that I KNOW I'll never touch again. Why was I hanging on to those?
Now, my unread shelves of books are WAY more numerous than my "read and keeping" pile. I still have years of reading to get through what I've bought. But I know that many of those will be read, enjoyed and passed on, not kept.
It's hard. It's really, really hard. But my heart is lifting. Losing those books has made me feel a thousand times lighter. And this time? I know I'm not going back to my old ways. How do I know it? Not sure. Couldn't tell you exactly. But I know it in a way that is certain.
The going away pile has way more than 100 books in it right now. Roughly 20% of the books in the house. And PapaC is taking it all to Half Price Books tonight. Because I can't trust myself to have them hang around while friends come to look through them. I'm in danger of putting them right back where they were. And where they're not supposed to be.
It's a lesson to me.
Don't ask, if you don't want to hear.
Don't ask, if you don't want to do.