As part of my daily reading I have started to include magazines and yes, fashion magazines at that. As unimportant as they may seem in the harsh realities of this world, besides learning about the latest fashion trends they can provide a unique inspiration from which to learn a lesson, think a thought, or venture out into new ideas or perceptions.
I was reading Glamour, which I bought because my car was at the dealership and I had no way to get home for lunch or even a phone to get online with (it too was at the dealership – they were fixing my sync). In an article entitled,”8 Things you need to know about…you” I found number 3 enlightening. Number 3 suggests that you know, “whom or what you’re addressing when you cry out,”Oh my God!” Is it a spirit, a feeling you get in nature? A person, like the dude at Geek Squad? Gwyneth? Maybe the phrase is just a valley girl expression to you, but exploring your spiritual path could be one of the great adventures of your life.”
I found this to be particularly interesting because I could not agree more. Spiritual enlightenment is a great adventure, one of the most amazing things you can do in your life. And I cannot think of a single person who has sought after it whose life has not been radically changed. I am reminded of a movie that has recently come out (Eat, Pray, Love – though I have not seen it or read the book), and Julia Roberts who plays Elizabeth Gilbert goes on a journey and is changed by it. Heck, we have been changed by her journey – just look at the retail explosion, somebody was a marketing genius.
I like what I heard a guy teaching at church say (he was filling in for the pastor). It went something to the effect of: If you believe in right and wrong, in absolute truth, then we can have a conversation about God and about our beliefs. But, if you believe in relative truth then we cannot even talk because we have nothing to discuss. It is an impossibility to even discuss with someone who God is if they do not believe in absolute truth. I dare say if you read my blogs (and thank you to those who do) you at least believe in the former, because I doubt a latter believer would have the ability to read and stay silent or simply to continue to read. I clearly am a believer in God and in Jesus Christ. But I hope I never fall into the category of people that become so consumed with my own intentions of the Bible and the Cross that I cannot be a useful tool in the hand of God to those around me. I want always to go where people need to hear the truth. I want to be the one that is different, that is kind and generous and loving in a way that allows them to be open to who God is and what an amazing adventure being his child and in love with him it is.
This year has been an amazing journey of self discovery and learning to let go of my own dreams and hopes and desires and being open to the journey and life that God wants for me. I once thought that my life was going to be one of importance in an in your face up front kind of way – which, now that I think about it, is not at all who I am so why did I think that that was my path? Growing up in the church you learn that missionaries and pastors and evangelical leaders are the ones that win people to Christ. And if you want to be used of God then you need to go into one of these professions. Really? Really? I don’t think that is true at all. I think those are important roles that need to be played by the ones that are called to it. I am not. I never have been and have even felt guilty about not wanting to be a missionary. It was the few that went out into the world to teach the Gospel, not the many. Jesus spoke to the people around him. Wherever he was. He spoke plainly to them in ways they could understand. He was present in the life and place that he was in. That is my role. To be present in the life and place that I am in. My role is to love others. To be an example of who Jesus is. Not to exact my own justice in life but to trust in God to handle it. To pray and teach the truth in plain ways that people around me can understand.
One should always be seeking to know more spiritually. To become enlightened. And I think it is ok to use those words. Because those words point to Christ. There are lots of great ideas out there, but there is only one God. He does the beckoning, not me. He knocks at the hearts of those around me, not me. And he will do the saving. Not me. With each life I encounter I leave a piece of me and hopefully that piece is reflective like a mirror of Christ.