Unless the Lord build the house, in vain do the laborers build it. (Psalm 127:1)

This verse came to mind while meditating this morning. It speaks to my efforts to make sense of the terminal illness that is shortening my life, a life I frankly love and don’t want to leave, a reversal from yesterday’s attitude.

The symbol house as understood in Jungian psychology represents the entire psyche in its varied stages of development. In my childhood experience of the world as cold and hostile, my house collapsed. I retreated into fantasy, and with it, further stagnation: Nothing lived. Robot-like, I meandered around the known corners of my life, feigning interest but often bored. The enveloping pain dis-eased my body.

Only through 12-Step work, begun in 1991, did I discover my voice and a friendly world in which to breathe. But decades of barricaded rooms in my house had to be interfaced with the discipline of the 12 Steps, their rubbish cleared out. From the outset, I recognized the enormity of this task. On my own, this was impossible.

The Step III Prayer conceives the Lord as a Master Builder: “I offer myself to Thee, to build with, to do with me as Thou wilt …” with the mandate to let go of the outcome. For decades, such has been my practice, with much stuff carted away. But there’s still more.

Time constraints press upon me now. I’d rather fix the remaining disorders than let the Lord continue building my house. It’s all about surrendering, again and again. I know I’ll be surprised. I always am.