Years ago, (I’m guessing 1995, but I can’t be too sure,) my friend Jason & I drove a rental truck from a company that shall remain unnamed from Reno to LA as he & the BigWeez (his wife, aka Alyse Caroline, beloved namesake of our daughter, Weez, aka Alyse Elizabeth,) prepared to relocate to go to Bible College. We weren’t far out of town when we realized that our truck had a governor, aka “Speed Limiter” on it. Which meant that as soon as we hit 56 mph, there was a tangible realization of ‘THIS IS AS FAST AS YOU CAN GO’ that made a 9 hour trek into a 12-14 hour odyssey. Nothing could be done to GO FASTER. Trust me. We tried, especially coming down the hill from Lee Vining into Bishop.
We weren’t trying to break the sound barrier nor the “Reno to LA” land speed record. We merely wanted to navigate the 395S between Bishop & Ridgecrest at a more pleasant speed. (70 would’ve been a dream.) By Big Pine, we were both sure: We hates the governor. Not our friend. Now or ever. (And, BTW, this isn’t a political post vaguely disparaging the governor of the great state of . (The blank is there for you to fill in with the name of whatever place you reside. Or that you wish you resided in. But I digress.) The governor of that truck was revealed to be the enemy of our souls, though we hadn’t known it up til that moment.
So, how does that fit into today? I’m glad you asked.
Last Thursday, I had my monthly Spiritual Direction appointment. (Click on the link to find out more about what SD is. It would be a blog in itself if I tried to explain it.) Anyway, one of the things that came up as I answered my friend’s questions (there’s a LOT of good questions in SD,) was the presence of a governor near (but NOT within) my own heart & soul, so close & so seemingly imbedded in my consciousness that apart from the holy floodlight that the Holy Spirit often seems to be in my life, I would never have noticed or paid attention to. This governor‘s job? To engage with & evaluate my thoughts, reflections, words, etc… to measure whether or not they should see the light of day.
Before you start thinking that this governor near my soul was a good thing or a welcome component in my daily life & processings, let me tell you: it is not, & here’s why: This governor, in the name/vein of “Quality Control,” has served as an almost invisible, undetected filter… & instead of being the kind of filter that I’d associate with helpful & heaven-sent (aka the Holy Spirit, 3rd person of the Trinity,) this filter seems to have been instituted at some point for the purpose of evaluating & rejecting my creative hopes & dreams thoughts & words… to the point that I didn’t even recognize that the creative flow had been reduced to… next to nothing. Barely a trickle.
Initially, I realized I had come to see the Quality Control (hereto after QC) filter as a welcome & needed part of my life… It was only in reflection during my appointment & in the hours afterward that I’ve come to realize what the QC did was to shut me down, to keep the flow of life, new ideas, new possibilities & hopes for new things to a minimum, because the QC said they weren’t good enough. They didn’t measure up. They needed to be discarded, often before they even had the first chance to form, congeal, & gain any traction or momentum.
Haven’t done much with that this weekend, but I decided to take an hour today to think on the QC & its role in my life while I was doing some work that didn’t require my full attention (vacuuming #FTW).
What I’ve decided is: I don’t want that kind of governor in my life. I don’t want a Quality Control element regulating my soul, my thoughts, & my dreams, evaluating (& rejecting!) them without them even getting a cursory twice-over.
So, I’m asking the BEST governor, the indwelling Holy Spirit, to do some heart & soul surgery on me… to remove the QC & all of its tendrils, no matter where they’ve managed to wrangle their ways into my life. I’m intentionally slowing some of my thinking/planning/preparing processes down to make room for some changes. And, I’m challenging any & all outright rejections of ideas & the like, taking some extra time, energy, & resource for the purpose of making sure that what is getting tossed out is really stuff that needs to get tossed, & not merely stuff that the enemy of my soul, no matter how benign he seemed to be all these years, has conditioned my “evaluator” to function.
Don’t know where this goes or where it ends up – I can bet, though, that it is going to be interesting & maybe even a bit unpredictable.
2021 – never too late for the New.