Category Archives: The Power to Change

UNLIMITED

In the musical Wicked, Elphaba, the “wicked” witch sings a song called “Defying Gravity.” In it she sings a wonderful line: “Unlimited, . . . My future is unlimited!” Later in the play she sings that line again, but instead of singing “unlimited,” having experienced some hard knocks, she sings “I’m limited.” However, despite the fact that she is feeling limited at that moment, she holds fast to her original vision of being “unlimited” and life is transformed for her.

How often we get bogged down with thoughts and feelings of our limitations. Instead of keeping our focus on our dreams and visions, we so often focus on the day to day things that we all must do to live in “reality.”

Does living in “reality” preclude us from feeling unlimited and keeping our focus there?

It is those who have not allowed themselves to be bogged down, or held down by the way things are that have been the movers and shakers in our world. It is those who have constantly stretched the limits imposed by “reality” who have created new spiritualities, new cures, new technologies and new ways of being. Where would we be without such unlimited thinkers?

I was reading Wayne Dyer’s new book Excuses Be Gone. In chapter 4 he reminds us that we are unlimited. “Know that you are a soul with a body rather than the reverse” (p.75). That is, our souls are from eternity and are eternal – where there are no limitations. Remember this! If I could be or do anything I would want, without any current limitations imposed on me – what would it be? Ask yourself this question. And when you get the answer, this is what we need to keep before our eyes – not the limitations of “reality!”

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STOP THINKING SO MUCH!!

The silence of no thought

It speaks with increasing volume
Enticing me . . .

“Wanna figure it out?”
“No thought”
“Wanna change?”
“No thought”
“Wanna create?”
“No thought”
“Wanna love?”
“No thought”
“Wanna live well?”
“No thought”
“Wanna die well?”
“No thought”

In this silence, the song rises in my heart again
And I am made new.


Supernova

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


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.”


Want to Start Over?

Ezekiel 36: 23-28

 

Do you ever just want to wipe the slate clean? Life goes on, problems mount, unhealthy ways of dealing with things pile up, exercise wanes, the diet goes, unresolved issues in our relationships lay dormant, . . .and the list goes on. Sometimes I just want to wipe the slate clean; just run away and start all over. Most of us aren’t in a position to do that, however. The good news is we CAN begin to wipe the slate clean. We can begin to start over, step by step. Evangelical Christians talk about being “born again.” The fact is we CAN be born again. We can create a new way of being – one little step at a time. We just have to open ourselves to it and take a little action to correct unhealthy situations and get rid of some of the baggage. When I take even one little step, that little step has power. It can give me the energy to take another step, then another, and so on until I begin to feel like a new person.

The fact is, we CAN live a new life. We CAN wipe the slate clean. I love this image from Ezekiel where the possibility of new life is poetically stated – the reality that a Power greater than ourselves CAN “restore us to sanity” (12 Steps).

“I will take you away, gather you from the foreign land in which you’ve been and bring you back to your own land (self). I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from your impurities, and from your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you . . .”

Do you ever just want to wipe the slate clean? We can! We just need to do two things. Believe that a Power greater than ourselves CAN change us. Then, take a little step in a new direction.


For What Would I Sell Everything?

Matthew 13: 44-46

“It is like a buried treasure found in a field.  Rejoicing at the find they sold all they had and bought that field.”

What would I sell everything for?  What would I give my life to?

If I want to know what I would sell everything for, I simply need to ask myself what it is that I give my time and energy to.  That will tell me what I’m giving my life to.

When you ask that question, are you pleased with the answer?  What IS it that you are giving your life to, that you are daily putting your energy into?  Is it something that is of eternal worth, or is it something that will quickly fade with the passing of time, or the passing of your life?  If you’re not pleased with the answer, what could you do to begin to change that?


Speak Your Truth!

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.