I imagine that I walk into a desert place.
I spend some time exploring the surroundings,
then settle down to contemplate my life.
I see how frequently I rush outside myself
-to people, occupations, places, things-
in search of strength and peace and meaning,
forgetting the source for all
is here within my heart.
It is here that I must search.
Each person carries thoughts
that have the power to bring instant peace.
I search for mine.
I also search for the thoughts
that help me face life's challenges
with fortitude and courage.
What are the thoughts that make me warm and gentle,
that exorcise the hate and anger in my heart?
What thoughts put meaning in my life?
give me joy?
propel me into service?
Before I leave the desert
I recall the existence of another source within
that does not need the aids of thoughts
to give me all I need.
I make an indirect attempt to reach it
by imagining a cave within my heart
suffused with light.
The light invades my body as I enter.
I can feel its rays create and energize
and warm and heal.
So I sit within the cave in silent adoration
as the light seeps in through every pore.
"Hello, I have been waiting here for you a long time,"Jesus said as he glazed into my eyes. His gaze was long and loving, and I felt my soul was transparent.
"I have waited here while you were running everywhere to look for strength, and for comfort and for peace," He said.
"My heart was breaking too," He said with tears in His eyes, " as yours were. I feel your pain, your hurt, and your anger."
"I also watched as you try to make yourself feel better," He added sadly, " by drinking yourself into a stupor, by ceaseless watching of movies and televisions, by lustful sexual encounters, by self-talk and drugged abuse of your body for momentarily pleasure."
"These escapes did not last long enough, did it?" He asked looking into my eye,"When it is over, you still end up with yourself and your problems."
"You want to talk about it?" He asked sincerely.
"Yes, " I said in a broken voice, "Yes, I do. Forgive me, Father for I have sinned..."
I thank you for this reminder that wherever we go you are there with us. Father, we ask for your forgiveness that we look for strength, and comfort, and encouragement everywhere except from You, the endless source of strength, comfort and encouragement. Lord, we are here now. Please give us strength, comfort and encouragement for another day. Please lead us back to this cave often to meet you.