"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
The Light Always
spir-i-tual Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French spirituel, from Late Latin spiritualis, from Latin, of breathing, of wind, from spiritus
1 plural : things of a spiritual, ecclesiastical, or religious nature
2 : Of all the parts of me, the most important
Today I don't want to write about an event, I'm going to write about a way of life.
Each and every one of us must have a moral anchor somewhere in our lives. We must have within us a set of rules on how life functions and how we fit within it. We must have made a decision as to where we fit in the order of things.
I see so many people who have bought into the selfish principles that pervade our society. Instead of being anchored in the Divine, they are anchored to themselves. That does them no more good than a ship who has dropped anchor in its own deck! They are relying on themselves for their stability, their meaning. This makes the world a very selfish place as each of these people strive to scratch and claw their way to the top without regard for others.
How can you spot these people? By simply looking at how they act.
Let's take a past pastor I had, for example. One Sunday as part of his sermon, he described his dog gleefully jumping on him when he came home. Then he said his response to it was to clobber the dog, knocking him away.
The Spirit within us will necessarily control the actions we take. In Isaiah we read that "a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice." We left that church shortly after that. Long story, we'll cover it later, but it had all to do with that self directed attitude.
I've seen several examples here at work this week of this principle. At the beginning of the week they let go a girl who was doing temp work for about $200 a week or so. They told her that they could not afford her. Yesterday, the VP paid $250 over the minimum on a company charge card that he uses to take his wife out to eat, not for company business. That would have paid that girl's salary, and she is living hand to mouth and in dire financial straits.
Playing with people's lives. Whatever is within you will well up like an artesian spring.
A coworker had to bring her cat into work because the pest control people were fogging her apartment. The cat was sitting there minding his own business when the VP got too close to him, even after being warned the cat was stressed and may scratch him. Well, the cat did scratch him. So he gets up, draws back, and drop kicks the poor cat across the room. Then he smears iodine all over his "wounded" hand and shows it off to everyone.
When I was in the hospital last year after ending up all in pieces and suicidal, one of the first things my doctor suggested was to get my closest friend at work to come in and talk with me so that I could ask them for some support. So I did that, and got her to come in. The choice of who to call was easy, there was only one coworker who I didn't think had been actively involved in putting me where I happened to be sitting.
Her response? "I've got my own problems. You're going to have to work this out all by yourself." She had been in counseling, and apparently had a problem being "codependant." That's the proper response for a person to avoid codependancy, according to therapists. But all I wanted was validation, a person to say "You are important to me, I care that you are hurting."
And thus was I abandoned.
I walked out of my room afterward and a tear fell, and one of the other patients said that just for a moment, she saw my mask drop. My smoldering wick had been snuffed out.
"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. "
Things like this baffle me. I don't see things the way other people do. I never have. I'm walking on a different path. A better path. It's just that there are few other travelers on this road, although a lot of people wave their bus tickets and SAY they are traveling it.
I learned about Jesus when I was very very young. I cannot remember a time when I did not know about Him, even though there were years I actively ran the other way from Him. But eventually I stopped running, and discovered his extravagant love.
Here was, to me, a person TRULY worthy of holding my anchor! And God can light up any darkness, or give us the strength to face it.
To me, that light permeates every area of my life. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm human just like you, but my drive, my goals, my personality, my actions and reactions are all intimately connected with the Almighty.
Life is so full of darkness, most of it coming from the hearts of men and women.
But, standing with God, you are in the Light, always.
And that's what I feel, that's the deepest principle of my life. I'm not looking for huge mountaintop "glory" experiences, I'm not looking for the buckets of money and blessings, I'm not looking to lead a perfect pain free life.
Father, I just want to stand next to you.
Here, in the Light.
When you close your doors, and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within. And what need have they of light to see what you are doing?
Epictetus (55 AD - 135 AD), Discourses