I grew up going to church with my family. My spiritual practices have changed a fair bit, but there are ideas and verses that really stick out in my memory. One of them is Proverbs 7:3: “write/engrave (God’s commandments) on the tablet of your heart.”
Tablets of old were sturdy things: a slab of stone, a wooden board with wax upon it. Meaning was created by carving out space and lines. There was mindfulness in this writing –no easy do-overs when you are chiseling away at a hunk of stone. Even the wax tablet required effort to edit: you needed heat and a scraper to smooth old inscriptions.
This association brings up questions. What is the tablet of my heart like? How much attention do I pay to the different things I have engraved in this foundational area? There have been many stories written there, beliefs that have been deeply etched and have changed me. Helpful, unhelpful, used-to-be-helpful…how do you edit what has been written on the heart?
I read that Advent encompasses all of time: it’s about waiting (present) for the fulfillment (future) of that which has been hoped for (past). It’s a time of reflecting on the old stories and hoping for the new ones that will be written. For many of us, both in and out of church, the practice of regarding the past and anticipating the future also shows up in resolutions and intentions for the New Year. What has happened, where are we in our lives, and what do we hope for in the coming year?
So often I think of events or things. I hope to change this habit or meet that goal/person. I don’t always let my awareness hit on the beliefs and stories carved on the tablet of my heart and manifesting in the ways I see/interact with the world around me. This year my prayer and intention is to resemble the wax tablet rather than the stone. Let gratitude be the heat that smoothes the worn out stories, and let my surrender to the Divine allow for the inscription of new stories on the foundation of my heart.
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of Goodness and thus to open doors of hope. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Christy Morgan lives with her dog in Anchorage, Alaska. She has an editing and transcribing business: http://markmywordstranscription.com