Lenten Desert: Myths Monsters Logosmoi/Geordie the Monk/Your hut will teach you everything

Desert Hut

Geordie sat three days and three nights outside the monastery gate. The rain had stopped, but had left him soaked to the skin. He had wrestled with himself; torn between going back to the life he loved and understood and going forwards on a uncertain journey to which he seemed unwelcome.
He was calm and collected as he knocked on the monastery gate.
He heard footsteps, followed by the same voice from behind the oak door:

“Is that you again?” “Why have you come back?” “What is it you want from us?”

Geordie hesitated, then he spoke slowly and clearly:
“I am seeking the One”
Silence followed, seconds of silence that seemed like forever.
Geordie spoke again:
“I am seeking the God of Yesuah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

At that point the locks on the gate began to rattle and the door opened. Much to Geordies surprise there were a group of monks waiting behind the door to meet him.
‘Welcome, welcome, now come inside so we can get you some dry clothes and get some warm food into you…….”

Geordie stayed in the monastery guest house for nearly three months. He had settled in well and adjusted to this new way of life and made it his own. All the other monks had their own individual huts each with a small garden in which they grew vegetables and flowers. On Saturday evenings they met together to eat and talk; serious conversation intermingled with lots of laughter and good humour. Geordie was only allowed to listen as he had not begun to live this way as yet. On Sunday’s they all met early in the morning for the Great Celebration. For the most part the monks lived solitary lives whose importance was reflected in the high circular wall that surrounded the monastery.

At the end of three months Geordie was asked by the Abba who it was he was seeking. His reply was even stronger than it had been when he had first spoke it out:
“I am seeking the God of Yesuah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

The community then agreed to allow Geordie to join the them as a Novice. That day he walked out of the guest house through the enclosure and into the heart of the community. The Abba was waiting for him with a novices habit and took him to the newly prepared hut and garden the community had built for him. Geordie was so excited and that Saturday night he thanked all the community that he was now a monk, at which point the Abba instructed him to apologise to each member of the community individually with the words; “Forgive me I am not a monk but a novice”

Geordie settled into his hut and was determined to organise himself so that his new vocation fitted in just the way he liked it. Then it happened. Geordie could not believe it. Here he was, in the place of his choice, ready to put his stamp on it, get the whole thing organised, just the way he liked it, and to his surprise and shame; he was bored stiff. Now that is not a metaphor. Geordies boredom had left him completely motionless, with absolutely no motivation.
“What the bloody hell am I doing here?” he thought to himself
“This is a serious fecking waste of time and space”
“These lazy bastards are a group of work shy misfits who would not last 5 minutes in
my world.”

“My world” the thoughts of his home, his farm, his life…yes his life, the way he wanted it went round and round his head. He should never of left, never have listened to those stupid bells, never have gone to that damp smelling church or listened to that damp smelling Priest. Unable to sleep or eat for several days he went to see the Abba…to quit. Frustratingly, the Abba responded to his crisis with these words;
“Go to your hut and your hut will teach you everything”

“Go to your hut! Go to you hut!”
“What sort of fecking advice is that?”

Geordie close the hut door behind him and to his surprise the thoughts had retreated to the back of his mind, not silent just dull whispers. He decided to eat some food and try and make up for the lost sleep. He awoke in the early hours of the night. His thoughts were now moving in a new direction, he followed them unwillingly, because they held him captive. There waiting, at the end of the journey, was Betty the Beautiful Barmaid. He missed Betty, he yearned for Betty, He wanted Betty…yes wanted her now, in everyway possible. He wanted to possess her, dominate her, ravish her in every possible way. He tried to shut the thoughts out, he sang, danced, ran outside around his garden, he poured cold water over his head and down the front of his habit. He felt shame: how could he think about Betty this way? How could he ever become a monk? He ran to the Abba’s hut and banged on the door.
The Abba listened quietly to Geordies thoughts. When he was finished the Abba took hands, looked at him and said;
“Go to your hut and your hut will teach you everything”

Back in the hut Geordie managed to eat and sleep well. He decided to be more positive about everything, to take more control of his vocation. That’s when he decided he would be the new St. Anthony the father of monasticism. He imagined himself doing the longest and most trying vigils, with the rest of the community looking on and learning from him . His reputation for holy living would travel far and wide, and seekers from all over would come for his wise direction. He would advance the call of monasticism and the Kingdom of God.He would travel far and wide from the monastery preaching and teaching the multitudes who would be edified by his monastic wisdom. He looked out at the adoring crowds and there in the middle of them all was Betty the Naked Barmaid.

At this point Geordie cracked up. He fell on the floor of his hut, tears poured down his cheeks. He couldn’t take this anymore. He was a failure and would never be a monk.
He sat for sometime in silence, allowing his thoughts to settle, the pursuit of his monastic career to subside. He started to weave a basket from the reeds that carpeted the floor, a skill he learnt during the dark days of winter while shepherding sheep. He then started to weave others skills he knew into his day; tending his garden, preparing a meal, welcoming silence. These were joined by knew pursuits; saying Office, reading, meditating, and what became a great joy, sharing with the rest of his community on a Saturday night. He listened now more than he talked. He discovered his community came from all different walks of life, from peasants, to priests and merchants and chiefs. Each had heard there own bell, or whisper or shout that had brought them to this place. Geordie heard about their Logosmoi: The thoughts that tore at the very heart of their being, tearing at their soul, seeking to abort them from the desert, their vocation. They talked of a rhythm for life that found them and showed the way to negotiate the Logosmoi and to overcome the darkness within them to which the Logosmoi were attracted. They talked of their vocation to seek the One, and become a new creation, a new humanity in Christ.Then they each returned to their hut: Alone Together.

3 Comments

  1. Sheila Hay

    Wow its amazing how much I had forgotten. Thank you so much for reminding me of who I am and where I came from and who it is that I seek. To seek Him even more through the hard times of the logis moi and to find my fitting task to keep me sane.

  2. Laura Togher

    This stuff is great. I’m so glad I glanced upon it today…thought provoking. It took me deep but has a gentle, good humoured nature which was a welcome companion. It woke me up but produced a smile too. Richness springing from richness.

  3. Norma Charlton

    Good to read the proper story again. I can hear you telling it John.

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