When I find myself disillusioned I often notice I was operating under an illusion on the matter in the first place. One cannot be disillusioned without first being "illusioned". This kind of disillusionment is a frequent hazard for the reality-challenged, especially for those of us who are incurable optimists. Our problem begins with believing something is true simply because we want it to be true. We imagine things are better than they are. The problem may be even worse for the pessimists, those who concentrate too much on the negatives. One definition of "worry" is "praying for things we don't want". I still prefer the optimist mind set, but either way (optimism or pessimism) is problematic if we bet too much on our guesswork. Better to just pray and wait on the truth to show up. Don't push the river. It flows by itself.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
When asked recently to think seriously about my gifts, I thought first (and got stuck on) one word, LIFE. Twenty years ago this month I thought my life was over with the onset of an aggressive cancer. Since then I have come to appreciate my life more than ever before. More recently, I have realized the life I have and now am most grateful for, is far deeper than my visible, breathing, moving, sometimes painful physical body. Today the life I most value is invisible, and sometimes difficult to get in touch with. It is my very being, my essence, my soul, my spirit, consciousness, energy, and awareness. It is formless, limitless and eternal. It is a feeling more than something I can wrap my mind around. When asked how I could share my gift with our church, I thought of the word, "Presence," more than just showing up although that is how it starts. To be there with God and fellow beings with full attention is not always easy to come by with my wandering mind. Although the religion I grew up with and promoted for years encouraged "worshipping God in spirit and in truth," I sometimes get hung up on rituals and personalities.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
When things don't go as I planned or think they should (like pain and suffering), I first look to be sure it is not something I set up myself. Then I look around to see if there is someone else who caused it. If I still don't understand why it happened, I may resort to blaming God. Sorry about that, God. I learned to do that once upon a time when I truly believed you were in control of all things and could have prevented my unhappiness. Upon further review (as the football officials say), I see that you are not that vindictive or dictatorial. The Gospels show me a God in Jesus who is quick to move in to suffer with us, lift us up and nurture us toward wholeness. A chaplain friend of mine, working in the Pentagon when disaster struck there on that horrible September morning, was sometimes asked where was God when that happened. On the scene immediately, he said he saw God was right there in the rescuers, the rubble and the pain. Talk about a first responder!