There is a story about Russia in the days of the Czars. In the park of St. Petersburg Winter Palace there was a beautiful lawn, on that lawn a bench, and next to that bench, two guards. Every three hours the guards were changed. Yet no one could explain why these guards were guarding the bench. One day an ambitious young lieutenant was put in charge of the Palace Guard. He started wondering and asking questions. Finally, he found a little old man, the Palace historian.
“Yes,” the old man said, “I remember.” During the reign of Peter the Great, 200 years ago, the bench got a fresh coat of paint. The Czar was afraid that the ladies in waiting might get paint on their dresses. So he ordered one guard to watch the bench while the paint dried. The order was never rescinded. Then in 1908, all the guards of the Palace were doubled for fear of a revolution. So the bench has had two guards ever since.”*
Every once in a while it’s wise to ask, “Why am I doing this?” The modern definition of “insanity” is to continue doing what you have been doing and yet expecting different results. Are you ignoring years of experience and knowledge only to continue doing what you have always done? Be present and alert to your behaviors, actions and re-actions. The results/analysis of this mindfulness is what we should be checking in regularly with our sponsor and or spiritual adviser, so that we can know if we need another coat of paint or just to leave the bench! If you want different results, you will have to do something different. If the paint dried years ago, move on!
Thought for the day
What is it about me that has grown with the smell of stench? What negative habits have I developed through the years of my life that have held my spiritual growth in check and need to be eliminated? I can and will change for the good.
Heavenly Father, Abba, please be with me today as I take time to review my behaviors, thoughts and feelings. Lord, this type of self appraisal is new for me and sometimes, make that most of the time, I don’t know how to figure out how to proceed. I have been so good at stuffing; I’d be great as a Kalamata olive stuffer. Stuff, rationalize and deny has been my agenda for so long, I need your help if I am to change as I am called to in my fellowship. Please help me to isolate those behaviors caused by my character defects that are most annoying to my fellow man and keep me from experiencing the fullness of a surrendered relationship with you. Lord, I no longer want to be God! I make a lousy one. Please be with me as I trudge this road towards a meaningful, honest relationship with you and my brothers. I ask this in the name of the one true God, your son Jesus. Amen!