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
When I am connected to my Source, taking the time to pray, meditate and read all of a sudden it seems that life begins to flow, take shape and my work is given wings. Life takes off. Conversely, when I am not connected, I am like a hampster in a cage that runs and runs and gets nowhere – fast.
“God is able to make every grace abundant for you.” (See 2Corinthians 9: 6-10).
I have of late been taking some risks. At times I have been frightened, but I have to believe that, if what I am doing is in the flow of Divine grace – God will provide – and provide ABUNDANTLY. The important thing is that I stay connected and then, just do it.
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 question myself more and more as to whether God really cares about religious structures and institutions at all. Does God really care about all these humanly created laws? Does God really care about how this or that Worship Service or Liturgy is done? Does God really care about what kind of music is used? Does God really care about restricting people from access to the Table? Does God really care about not eating meat on the Fridays of Lent? Does God really care whether food is kosher or not? Does God really care about proving whether one was “actually” married or not through an annulment before getting married again? Does God really care about barring gay people from marriage, anymore than God would care about eating shrimp (which nobody listens to in the first place, even though it’s listed in the “abominations” in Leviticus – not to mention a woman being put to death who cheats on her husband, conveniently with no mention as to what is to happen to the man!). Does God really care about ANY of this?
In the end, does any of this matter? Some I have met who are into enforcing religious law are among the most judgmental, mean spirited people I have ever met. Conversely, those who have had the law inflicted upon them and internalized it live with the most abject fear of their acceptability in the eyes of God that I have seen. Indeed, isn’t it “sinful” to have instilled such fear in the hearts of these good people? What is of greater importance? Living the letter of religious law, or building people up by being a loving, self giving person?
Yesterday in my church, we heard the story of the man born blind from John’s Gospel. In the end, who was really blind? Were the blind man and Jesus the “sinners,” as accused by the upright religious folk in the story; or was it the religious folk themselves, intent on the letter of the law? I can only imagine that the spirit of evil rejoices when people get all caught up in religious law! Ironic that those who are not caught up in it, those who do not abide by it, or those who question it are the very ones called “bad.”
What’s more important in life? I believe that sometimes religious law serves only to blind us to what is really important in being a person of God.
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?