Soul Rain ... Kelli Sorg

a little rain refreshes the soul

Tag: world (page 1 of 4)

No Idea Where I’m Going

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My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going,
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton

Being a Superhero

 

Superman is invincible except for the little matter of kryptonite. Wonder Woman has her magic bracelets that deflect bullets. Batman has the cowl that protects his identity, the Bat Cave, the Batmobile and his sidekick Robin. The Wonder Twins have each other and the ability to change into any animal, vegetable or mineral that is needed to save the world. When we think about Jesus the Christ , we assign him superpowers as well.

Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, and proclaimed the year of the Lord’s favor. He came to set the captives free, to cast out demons, and to save us from our sins. It seems a little offensive to lump Jesus in with the Saturday morning cartoons and the Justice League of America but our unexamined actions tell a different story.

We think so often as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross, his giving up his life in that moment of eternal justification. What if that is a place we may be missing the point? Did Jesus live a daily life of sacrifice, giving up the things that other humans had? Did he give up the things that mark our humanness and can so easily be trusted? The things that Jesus seemed to live without are the things that can so easily be twisted into idols-money, sex and power.

We assume that Jesus traipsed through Galilee and Samaria like some sort of Robin Hood with his band of Merry Men. Yet perhaps we don’t see are all the private daily temptations. We only see the big ones at the beginning of his life and at the end. Since we don’t have the power to multiply loaves and fished or cast out demons, we think we can give up on following Jesus because we just don’t have the right stuff. Jesus had no permanent home, no wife, no children, no steady source of food and financial security Those are all the things that we think are important in life. It seems that we assume that Jesus was above all that. The sermon to the Hebrews tells us that we have a high priest tested in every way just as we are. The daily tests and trials were part of Jesus life also. How does that realization shift our paradigm of Christ incarnate, Christ made human, just like us?

It’s easy to dismiss Christ’s earthbound life as if he had some sort of secret superpower. He was the son of God so ultimately he didn’t need to work and worry and wonder. Yet I think that’s too simplistic. Jesus said he relied on God for everything: for power and his ability to do miracles, his very life. Jesus didn’t command the father, it was the other way around. Just like us.

Jesus incarnation, being among us human as we are, changed everything. The resurrection and ascension finished and sealed the work. Then, the question becomes: how does the reality of the incarnation change our lives today?

It means that we don’t go anywhere that Jesus hasn’t already been. Even in our technological world of email and cell phones, smart phones that are smarter than we are and a 24/7 work life, the way of Jesus has much to offer us. The rhythms of work and rest, the comfort and intimacy of relationships that make us whole and make us holy, the companionship with God and with each other all bubble up from that spring of living water.

The life of Jesus Christ: his conception, birth, life, death, resurrection and continued life are not a work of fiction or of artful wishful thinking. God’s justice, God’s shalom is wiser and more courageous than human justice. God alone is Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of all that we are and all that we will be. We don’t need to hide behind masks, wear fancy jewelry or continually change to be what other people need and want. The superpower of life lived as a Jesus-follower comes from the grace that is Holy Love. It is the grace that calls us to a gentle and strong humanity. In partnership with Holy Love we don’t need to be anything that we are not and we have the opportunity to grow into more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Breathing in – Inspiration – May 29

Myst - Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Inspiration – May 29   (Surrendering ourselves to divine action) heals the wounds of a lifetime and brings us to transforming union, empowering us to enter Christ’s redemptive program , first by the healing of our own deep wounds, and then by sharing the healing of others. (Thomas Keating)  …read more here…

Monday Morning Mindset – Learning to Breathe

Whereas to be ‘in’ it is to seek truth in my own life and action, moving where movement is possible and keeping still when movement is unnecessary, realizing that things will continue to define themselves and that the judgments and mercies of God will clarify themselves and will be more clear to me if I am silent and attentive, obedient to his will, rather than constantly formulating statements in this age which is smothered in language, in meaningless and inconclusive debate in which, in the last analysis, nobody listens to anything except what agrees with his own prejudices.  Thomas Merton Journals, March 6, 1966. Volume VI, 366.

Thomas Merton wrote these words from the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1966.  How much has really changed?  We still live in a culture ‘smothered with language’.  The debate he wrote of is still raging, only the participants are even more entrenched now that technology allows them to hide in the virtual bunkers of social media. The answers to the stalemate in our wars of attrition lie in Merton’s writing as well.  Being silent, attentive to God’s will, trusting in the reality that life continues to unfold in the best ways of all of us when we realize that we are at our best when in communion with God and community with others. those are the qualities of the mindset that will make our lives better and more connected. This mindset is based on the humility to confess that I am not God, that I am second, and being what Mike Breen calls ‘poised’ for action – attentive, relaxed and focused – is the way we can all learn to breathe again.

So for today, breathe deeply and listen carefully. Anticipating the action of Holy Love, let us give up our agendas and ask to be surprised by joy.

Monday Morning Mindset

Prayer for the world(and my little corner of it)

The 2014 Sochi Olympics have reminded us once again that the world is much bigger than we thought. The endless, forested mountains of Russia and the Erector-set-like quality of the city built for these Olympic Games seem to emphasize the enormity and self-contained power of the country that spans the other side of the world from where I sit and write these words.

The notion of the planet being so huge and its inhabitants being essentially disconnected is a pre-modern one. That idea belongs to a generation that has little or no concept of reading a blog on the internet or even a newspaper that is available worldwide. Because of that historic disconnection, autocrats and barbarians could do as they pleased without the interruption of foreign moral watchdogs or media approval ratings. For better or worse, empires and tribes could rise and fall from power in isolation. Pain and terror and injustice could reign in places unexplored by other people or defended by geography or weaponry.

Even in our time of being über-connected, nothing has really changed. There are still autocrats and terrorists but they no longer wage their reigns of terror in geographical spaces.  They wage them in each of our minds and hearts. For all our ‘social’ media and our progressive belief in what’s right those who are power-hungry fear mongers have struck to the core of our beings. As a result, what is best in each of us has gone further underground. The place where we authentically live and love, work and play is covered by layers of emotions and rationalizations that we put up in self-defense. Our creativity, natural optimism and intelligence and our ability to hope have been locked deep within the forested hills of our hearts. Our lives are lived in shakily built construction of what other people think, how other people react and in the fog of fundamental attribution error (what we think other people think and that’s an accident waiting to happen).

There is a place and Person beyond the muddled, herky-jerky world of our pre-modern, modern, postmodern and post-postmodern existence. There is a hand that set the earth on its perfectly titled axis and gently set it spinning. Not content with that simple, mechanical action, that person who is Holy Love came to infuse each of us with the simple breathing of prayer for the whole world and our little corner of it. At its best, that breath of prayer is our breath of life shared with other people in connection and hope and creativity. When we breathe that Air, our lives become places of authenticity, safety and reason. God is acting in and through our lives and we don’t even realize it. When we finally do we can work and play and pray with God and each other to live, as the Velveteen Rabbit said, for real.

This is my prayer this morning for the world and my little corner of it – that Holy Love will give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to beat, hands and feet to move all in the midst of that Holy Love so that every breath we take and the lives we live with and for each other can be ‘for real’.

 

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