So today a departure from the norm, I have been using my sermons for a base and writing essentially an “intro” for them. Today I am going to get into some of my recent thoughts. I get themes going in my head, and they tend to stay there for a while, I think it might be due to my horrible memory, I can only keep one thought in there at a time. It seems to work for me, or at least it’s all I have to work with. So I have had this Thomas Merton quote in my head recently, “the God you find say more about you than it does about God.” I have been thinking about that quote a lot lately. I had two very interesting conversations on Friday, though both very different. In the first I was speaking to a very close friend and we were discussing my recent “spiritual change.” By recent I mean over the last 5-6 years and very profoundly in the last 2 years or so. What that means to me, as it turns out, can be totally different than what other’s see. If you have read one of my earlier blogs about my “awakening” you will know I have moved through (and continue to work on) a lot of pain. I use to think I was cursed with this life, or more to the point, my inability to work myself to a point of continuing “happiness.” I was always wanting more, that’s what we are taught here in the US, bigger ,better, higher, faster. So if you read that earlier blog I was caught in the “mode” of being object referral, looking to things outside myself for my happiness. My dear friend pointed out to me how I have changed in the 5 years, some of it good, some, according to him, not so good, and that’s not exactly what he said, but it was what he meant. I can always rely on him to “straighten me out.” In my sermon a few weeks ago for the start of lent, I stated that God calls us to action, and we are to live life wastefully, with joy, to add things to our “beautiful existence”, maybe not to remove things as we typically do for lent. I still believe that, but when I was speaking to my buddy, I realized how much I have stripped away in the last few years, and I think that was the point he was trying to make to me. I think some of my friends think I have removed to much, I am not the life of the party all the time. I don’t party much at all, lots of things that use to interest me bore the crap out of me, a side note- I see God’s party in a lot of places now- in personal growth of others, sunrises, smiles, children. They(those old things) are “of this world”, some people seem to think now “he’s” to good for that, its has nothing to with that at all, and I don’t judge others for being where they are at on their path. Its weird , some seem to judge me, rather harshly at times. I was told by one of my best friends, that I am ‘TO HAPPY” most of the time. TO HAPPY? What I have come to realize is that when we judge others, it usually a mirror of what is lacking in our life’s. Judgment of other’s, is a cause for us pause to look and see what we don’t like about ourselves, what we need to work on in our own lives.
So it can be a struggle, it difficult to find your bearings at times, what’s important now? I want to be clear, God doesn’t care if I drink or swear(or still do) or saw a girl in a bikini, but he want’s to know ,where is your heart, your soul that belongs to him. God wants us to have fun, live full of Joy, but it changes you- this experience. My friend was questioning me when I said I am happy, and I am probably for the first (extended period) time of my adult life. I am not always on my “A” game, but I continue working on it. I have learned that true happiness is a feeling of Joy that comes from inside of each one of us, if you look for it somewhere else you will lose it, it has to be from God inside of you. I have realized that most things are just background noise, the only true path leads to God…. all paths lead to God. But guess what he wants us to do, not judge, or hate, or put others down, but Love wastefully and forgive others, try to bring ourselves into completeness with him.
Move the story forward, we don’t have it right yet, not by a long shot. If you still see a them(and I still do) then there is work to be done on you. That’s where it all starts, with you, not them, not ISIS, not the Jew’s or Catholics, or the Muslims or any other “them” you still see. To try to effect real lasting change, we need to break through our old thought process’s. We are not all that much different than when we started this experiment thousands of years ago. We need to be bigger than that, we can do it, we are part of God, he is just waiting for us to gain momentum. We can and have to start meaningful change, or we will need a ride to another planet. Looking back , from the outside , from someone close to me, it must look and seem like I am crazy. I heard something about people in India being “God drunk”, being so lost in God they seem out of it, in the western world they would be committed. So I don’t think I am near that “bad”, but I have changed, for the better, I hope. I am far from perfect, but I am learning that’s ok too, it too is part of the plan. But this new awareness can cause “problems” of its own, or a better phrase than “problems” might be “we get a chance for new learning experience”. That’s why we are here, to grow and live and love, and to lose yourself in helping others. It can certainly cause you issues with the people you come into contact with, but it’s all part of the process. You can’t change other people, and you realize some of those close to you might never “get it.” Some people think you’re crazy, usually happy, but crazy. It can seem lonely, like your all by yourself, but it’s not a choice, not once you start down the “path”. The only thing you can do is have the power of your conviction, and that’s not the right word either, it not a conviction, it’s a knowing on some level, a feeling, something you can’t describe to anyone that hasn’t tasted “it”, “the way”, awareness, enlightenment, it can be scary and beautiful all at the same time. My friend said he understood my need to have others see my blog, he gets that I want friends to validate my writing and sermons.So that got me thinking, that’s he is partly right. It was more “right” earlier on, I wanted people to agree with me, identify with me, validate me. Now, a big part of it is to try to help people I know are struggling with this world, as I still do, and help them try to get a”cleaner understanding of this life”. I am sure some of it EGO and Pride, but I guess that comes with it, if not, no one would hear anything I have to say- good or bad. I do understand that many of my friends don’t care at all about this path, or they don’t believe what I believe, but I feel called to try to help those struggling- show them a different way. I know it doesn’t make me wrong if we don’t agree, we are just on a different part of the journey. I won’t judge you for your beliefs, give me the same respect.
Jesus excels at helping us to transcend this world … “be of this world not in it”, be like little children, or from Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” So how do you read a scripture like that? I have learned enough about the way the Jewish people thought, and they had no thought process of life after death, ideas were about here and now, for this world today. Jesus , a Jew, was telling us most of us get it wrong, here in this life now, today. Or are you still judging yourself and others? “The God you find say more about you than it does about God.” What God do you see, maybe more importantly what “you” do you see, that will probably determine what “God” you find and what “world” you see.