We put so much emphasis on events in our lives, the ones coming up and the ones we've just experienced, but how often do we get excited for the sometimes mundane, here and now? I say mundane, but I surely do not feel that way. I say mundane, because I think most of you feel that way. Oh sure, cleaning the toilet or washing windows (if you're so privileged) may seem tedious at best and dirty at worst, it is being ever present within that task that actually transcends the task itself making it a moment worth pursuing. Being present allows consciousness to expand beyond the imposed limitations of disdain and drudgery into the visions of Heaven. One need only recognize these tasks have virtuous merit pouring out and over into every interaction, every connection, every moment. Having morphed through life's many challenging experiences, I recognize that the quietest moments can be so much more powerful than the marching bands (and we all know not all marching bands are harmonious, to say the least). Indeed, the quietest moments help us to stay grounded when the illusory marching bands come clanging by. Remember in the Bible in the Old Testament, God was neither found in the rushing wind, nor the shaking earth, nor the fire, but in the quiet whisper that followed when things settled down a bit.
1 Kings 19: 10-13
And the word of the came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
I am never alone in that stillness. And, neither are you (if you believe in that sort of thing). Belief is paramount, of course, to experiencing the presence of Almighty God and His Host of Heavenly Saints and Angels. Stillness creates that atmosphere conducive to the ever approaching, gentle yet so powerfully mysterious Spirit of Heaven. Faith in God allows the presence of God, and all that that brings into life. But first, you must believe and fortunately for me, I chose to believe at quite a young age. It is so much more a part of my life than anything else. I say 'it' but I mean 'Spirit'. The Spirit of God transcends everything that we do if we allow it to. Lean into God if you want to know God. I know after speaking to several college classes lately, that God is needed now more than ever.
Which brings me back to the present moment (always return to the present moment) and how God transcends every single moment, every single breath, every single thought, every single deed, if we allow Her/Him to. I am ever allowing. I welcome the experience of God in everything that I do, and if I'm engaged with you in any way, I am welcoming the experience of God in you. I have not only come to share but to receive. I am more open to receiving now than I've ever been and frankly, sometimes, what I need to receive is a lot but we don't always get what we need when we need it. Transcendence truly comes in handy in moments like these. Given eyes to see, one recognizes the moment is always so much more than we believe it to be. We sulk when we don't get what we want. We stomp our feet like children when fear overtakes us. We lash out in disagreement when things don't go our way. It's moments like these that faith makes all the difference. You will know them by their fruit and if someone bites your head off, chances are they are not truly utilizing the quiet moments of their lives to maximize Grace during the 'fight song', which they take literally.
Acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will make your path straight. Take a moment to thank our Almighty Creator for all that has been given freely and abundantly. Notice the abundance around you in nature and in love. There are typically no limitations where God is concerned, so why do we impose limitations on ourselves, and others? Why is it okay to create turbulent atmospheres throwing peace and tranquility to the wayside like some under appreciated step-child? When does humility and appreciation overtake us to the point that we would do anything to keep it? We go to war in the name of peace. What if we went to peace in the name of war? What if we put others needs first reaching far beyond our comfort level and opening up the clenched fists? We're just so quick to anger and at what cost? When has anger ever put anything into our hands worth keeping?
This is not the way.
In the stillness, you become acquainted with the darkest shadow parts of yourself, and others. In the quiet, you begin to recognize what, and who you are, and 'whose' you are, as well as others. As Pastor Joel has said and I'm paraphrasing, 'you came through your parents' you do not belong to your parents. So who do we belong to? Where do we come from? And, do we really want to dismiss those shadows hoping the light won't illuminate them one day on our sojourn back to Source (which is our life's work)?
Surely I could never live my life that way. Bring on the light. Bring on the stillness. Bring on the evaluation. I am an open book and I live for God. I know that you and I have shadows and I acknowledge that I am helpless to dispel them without the Grace of God. God forbid I should think that my bad behavior is capable of saving anyone on my best day. No. If I have ever done any good, it is the Grace of God that has done it and rest assured, if I have done any wrong (and I have) - it was truly I who is responsible and it is I who needs to repent, and I do. All day, every day. I have a reset button and I hit it often, as Jim Carey has said, "I ride that sucker all day long".
God's Grace is sufficient to illuminate my transgressions and allows me the trans-formative power to transmute them for the good. Thank God for that! Thank God that I will be a work in progress until the last breath I take. Thank God that the more I learn, the less I know. Thank God for humility and love and Grace and stillness. Thank God for patience and forgiveness. Thank God for tests and trials. Thank God for all of those that have transgressed against me for they have become my greatest teachers. I am still receiving this great gift through the Grace of God.
I would be completely lost without it on the most random of days.