I have been reading Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Tough Minded Optimist, and I came across an insightful passage I wanted to share with you on the importance of connecting with God. This brilliant analogy came about from a conversation Dr.Peale had with a foundry superintendent.
While this book was printed back in 1961, I think its value is everlasting. Dr. Peale was a minister, author and business person. His work primarily focused around the power of positive thought and the reliance on God, something you spiritual warriors in recovery are well aware of.
In a brass foundry I watched molten metal at 2200 degrees being poured out of huge crucibles made of some translucent material which when hot glowed like fire. The foundry superintendent who was showing me about took a huge sledge and holding it in both hands delivered powerful blows against an empty crucible. The best he could do was to put almost imperceptible dents into its sides. The he picked up a small hammer and approached a crucible that had completely cooled off. With a short motion from the wrist he taped the cold crucible and shattered it.
“Nothing can break these crucibles when they are hot,” he said, “and anything can break them when they are cold.” The he added, thereby revealing himself as a philosopher of sorts, “It’s pretty hard to break a man whose spirit is hot; but even small things will bust him wide open when his spirit goes cold. The Tough Minded Optimist p.96
I don’t know about you, but this idea of being hot with the spirit is totally pertinence in my own life. You might even call it the keystone to my growth, yet even knowing this I still falter from putting it into practice.
There is a force that regularly unplugs me from God/Spirit. An insidious pull towards being detached and operating as an independent consciousness seems to be hardwired in me at this point. I know I need to be connected to Source, Spirit/God, and it is one of the first things I remind myself after my eyes open in the morning, yet I falter. Maybe my routes are interwoven in masochistic soil, but there is a gravity that always seems to pull me away from peace.
My thoughts need to be steered back towards God multiple times of day, else this supercharged self-will I’ve been blessed and cursed with automatically kicks in and takes over. The solution for me has proven itself worthy on far too many occasions to count, yet an hour after this spiritual awakening to truth a voice in my should whispers some divisive chatter that brings me right back to that place of questioning whether what I experienced was real with God, or it was just another example of the mind attempting to make meaning out of things.
First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. AA Big Book p.62
The fact checker is certain; I’m often found lost treading water in the open sea, an open wound of desperation while I step away from living with spiritual guidance and practice. Without it my thoughts stem from lack, fear, unworthiness and inferiority. Life and everyone in it seems to be my adversary, which in-turn I feel no other choice but to selfishly react to life and manipulate through my demands list.
While I’m holding that ‘me agains’t the world’ attitude, thinking everyone is only out for themselves, I become a destructive force in the world. The consequences aren’t always instantaneous, but always eventually make themselves apparent. It is a lie propagated for far too long in my psyche, something I have worked tirelessly to disconnect from over the years, and have come to accept it as a life-long pursuit. While I kick and scream, shouting injustice, I’ve found it far less strenuous to simply obey this cosmic law. This is a tough pill to swallow for someone who loathes the idea of conformity.
Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you?…The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. New Testament – NLT – John 6:60-61 & 6:63
There is a power flowing in life that routed in truth, peace and power. The Spirit, just like addiction/alcoholism, is non discriminant. If you decide to pretend like it doesn’t exist, it will obey your cavalier desire and allow you to go at things alone. If you choose to connect with that power, it too will obey this desire. One produces gentle gratification and ease, while the other produces discontentment and an insatiable appetite for the material.
While this is far from an easy choice, it is yours to make.