How very much fear can rule our lives – and we are unaware. We calculate what we say, how we say it, to whom we say it. We fear losing the respect of others, or get caught up in what they think of us. We fear losing our position, our job, or a friend. As a result the light that we are is held back; our unique way of being and flavoring our world is diminished. Not to mention that fear is death dealing to the spirit.
I am saint and sinner. I fly to the heights and I sink to the depths – and both are my teachers. Although I write, preach, speak and sing I am by no means a guru and far from perfect – simply a fellow traveler, expressing what is within and trying to make sense of it all.
Be who you are.
Say what you believe.
And let the chips fall where they will.
At least you’ll be living!
Like a dying star
Convulsing – trying to hold on
The heat – intense as gravity folds in on itself and energy ceases
Unable to escape the intensity – I collapse inward and finally explode
Will I fall into the inescapable darkness?
Or find myself thrust outward in a burst of creative energy
Forced and forged by this seeming death
Exploding into newness – Supernova my name?
Elements strong and bright
Silver and gold are forged in this heat
Gravity’s intense pressure – beauty’s unlikely birthplace
Visions of days past loom like distant memories
When I would gather them
Songs of passion, dreams of a different shore – a way for us to be – that seemed within reach
A heart that beat with affect and hope, open and seeking – dashed – yet like the phoenix,
Rising from the ashes
Flying again into your heart.
The gravity of ashes now speak: “lay here”
Rebirth – a distant belief
Voices of sunrise silenced
Visions of setting the last table become the heart’s
Visions. Songs. Dreams. Heart.
Has the Song found it’s end? Is the table to be
The Vision still has its time. Here . . . A spark.
NOTE: Again, I have to apologize that I am not consistent in writing for those who read my blog. I am in the midst of a move and things are very busy. You might want to consult one of my previous meditations in the mean time. I hope that you find what I write here helpful and uplifting to your spirit!
I so wish I was one of those people who are always able to walk with a sense of peace in the knowledge that they will be taken care of, that it will all work out. I confess to you that I am not. When something comes up, be it financial, a concern for a friend, work or the world, my first reaction is to get all upset. I oftentimes get down on myself for reacting this way. Come on, after all, I’m a person of faith ain’t I?? Would a person of faith react this way? Does anyone else feel this way?
I hope one day to grow into being one of those people who always walk with a sense of peace and trust. It must be a wonderful way to live. In the mean time though, I have to realize that it’s a process. These times are good practice for me to grow into being that person. I am given lessons, again and again, to trust when matters are out of my control – and it’s precisely this “practice” that will lead me to a greater sense of trust and freedom.
So, if you’re like me and get down on yourself for not reacting in a better way, give yourself a break. It’s a process. The fact is, after a few days of fretting about this or that, I usually do surrender to trust and regain a sense of equilibrium. Sometimes it just takes a while.
I think of various people in my life and the fear that they carry. I think of friends who are unemployed, dealing with family situations, fearing for their children’s future, trying to make ends meet, trying to support a partner who is depressed, a friend who battles panic disorder – somewhat brought on by the “fear of God” instilled in her as a child. I think of those in far distant lands who daily live in fear for their lives – people in Iraq, Darfur and Zimbabwe. I think too of the fear that I carry within me about my future and my job as a gay man in church ministry. There is a lot of fear out there and a lot of fear within. So how do we alleviate some of this fear?
Do you know one of those people who, despite life’s circumstances, continue to trust that God will indeed take care of them? I know of a man who has been unemployed for almost a year now, recently divorced, trying to care for his three children. He is one of the happiest, most peaceful, self giving people I know. I’m sure he has his moments, but in general he exudes a sense of peacefulness and trust. Wouldn’t that be a great way to go through life? After all, does all our worry make any difference at all?
If I am in fear, can I take a step in trust today and live a little more peacefully and positively, trusting that somehow things will work out? Can I see God as a loving, good parent who wants the best for His/Her children? Easier said than done I know. Some days it might be easier and other days more difficult. That’s ok. But just a small step in trust might help us get on with life and what we need to do. And really, wouldn’t that be a much better way to go through life?
This morning I began looking through Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, which a friend of mine gave me the other day. In the introduction I think she has one of the best definitions of spirituality that I have seen:
“The spiritual journey is the relinquishment – or unlearning – of fear and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.” (p.xxii)
I think she gets to the heart of what it is to live a spiritual path. What immediately came to my mind when I read this sentence was a time in my life when I was really struggling. I felt trapped and saw no way out. All I saw was the downward spiral that I was in. One day I knelt and prayed that I would somehow be freed, and even as I prayed I had little faith that this darkness would pass. Soon after, however, I began to have more and more thoughts of what life would be like outside of this spiral. This is what I began concentrating on and soon after, I found myself moving beyond fear to freedom.
It was only when my thoughts of fear were replaced with exciting thoughts of a new life, that I began to move to a new place of freedom. Fear was replaced with possibility. This is such a good reminder to me when I find myself struggling with whatever issue. If I stay with thoughts of fear, I will remain trapped. But if I place before my eyes a vision of what can be, a Power greater than myself will begin to move me in that direction.
Perhaps today, instead of worrying, instead of fretting over something in our lives, we might replace those thoughts with a vision of freedom, keep our focus there and see what happens.
Matthew 10: 24-33
“As for you, every hair of your head has been counted; so do not be afraid of anything. You are worth more than an entire flock of sparrows.”
We think we’re alone, but we’re not. We are known and loved through and through and we are assured over and over that we have nothing to fear. “Do not let them intimidate you!” Again, when we speak our truth, sometimes we will feel intimidated. People will react. But there is a truth in us which will be a blessing to others! Remember that! “What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.”
Someone needs our truth, our perspective on life. Someone will be changed, comforted and blessed by it. If we remain in the darkness for fear of what people will say, the blessing that we are remains in darkness and lifeless. We are like a seed that does not take root; so much potential laying dormant.
Perhaps today we could practice speaking our truth in, not focusing on “what people might say,” but focusing instead on what a blessing our truth will be for others. And remember, truth is always to be spoken in love. Jesus’ early followers were indeed intimidated, harassed, and even killed for the truth they spoke. But countless others were given new life by it. Maybe if we focus on that, it will take some of the fear away.