Category Archives: Getting Help

Learning to Fly

Last night I was reading the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Shack:  Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by Wm. Paul Young.  The jury is still out on what I think of the novel, but I find parts of it intriguing so far.  If you read it, I recommend getting through the first third of the book.  After that it begins to get intriguing and plays with questions of images of God, religious assumptions, suffering, relationships and new life.

One line from the book struck me.  As the main character and God are conversing about various things, God says:  “This isn’t Sunday School.  This is a flying lesson” (p.98).  What an image!  What if we could view all religion, all spirituality, all relationships from the point of view of this metaphor?  They’re all about flying!  They’re all about being lifted up beyond the pain that sometimes befalls us in life and learning to fly again.  Our relationship with God is NOT about following this or that rule it’s about learning to fly!  It’s about learning to live well!  Of course, any pilot will tell you that there are things you have to learn and do if you are to fly.  But that is not about rigid adherence to rules.  It’s about learning to live well, making good choices so that I feel as if I take flight.  It is about calling on the power of God within and trusting it, trusting that it is with us and will carry us through anything.  Now, we’re not going to “feel” it all the time, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t there.

Some of my friends know that I have gone through a bit of a difficult time the past couple of years.  I have struggled much.  A few weeks ago, I sat down and tried to meditate, having “felt” no connection with God, or others for that matter, in quite a while.  I felt that this was such a waste of time.  I didn’t feel any better.  But I kept going back to meditation anyway, if even sporadically.  One day, wondering about the pain and difficulty of the past couple of years, wondering why I was even doing this and if there was any Power out there to help, I softly heard these words:  “It was then that I carried you.”  I look back now . . . and indeed I see only one set of footprints in the sand.  Indeed, I was still flying, still being lifted up, even though I didn’t feel it.

What strikes me is this:  if I had not meditated, if even sporadically, I never would have heard those gentle words, which were the catalyst which is giving me some thrust, some wind, as it were, as I slowly stretch out my wings again and learn to fly.

In the book, God says to the main character who has been deeply wounded:  “Mack, pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. . . .And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place” (p.97).

I pray that we all know that we were created to fly; that we have the courage to slowly spread our wings again.  And even when life is difficult may we know that “it was then that I carried you.”

Get Help!

Mark 10: 46-52

The one thing that I pray for every morning is that God would direct my thinking. I want to live well and I don’t want my vision clouded by negative thinking, energy or behavior. I want to live in ways that give me clear sight and clarity of vision. Sometimes though, my vision can get clouded. Sometimes my vision gets so clouded that I cry out like the blind man – “I want to see!”

When I am not processing what’s going on in my life with a trusted friend, spiritual advisor, sponsor or therapist, my vision begins to get clouded. Left to our own devices, we can talk ourselves into anything! At times we need guidance or just a sounding board that can echo back to us what we’re saying and doing so that we can see it more clearly.

Years ago my vision was very clouded. I felt like I was drowning and like Bartimeaus I cried out “I want to see!” And like the people in the Gospel who tried to shut him up, voices tried to shut me up. “You are an abomination,” they said. You must be “this way” in order to be acceptable in the eyes of God. But I didn’t feel myself to be “that way.” I was gay. And I was also a person captivated by God and questions of meaning in life. That God relationship was all important to me; but I was being told that I was not acceptable in the eyes of God. This was a time of great struggle and grief in my life.

I am so grateful for a wonderful spiritual advisor who I sought out. He told me of God’s love and through a long process I was able to begin to see myself as being created in love by God AS I AM. I began to see myself, God and others in a new way. I went from feeling like I was dying to feeling full of energy, light and life!

The important thing was, . . . I sought out a spiritual advisor. If I had not done that, God knows where I’d be! At other times in my life I have continued to seek out therapists, groups or had sponsors in 12-Step programs. These types of things were what that helped keep my vision clear.

How clear is my vision? Is it time to check in with a good spiritual director, therapist, group or the like?

Religion, Spirituality, Gay, Homosexuality