Last Sunday I left Sun lakes in a light fog. (No, I was not hung-over!) As I drove to St. Andrew's I made my way frog, to good viewing conditions, and back into fog again. As I went along I was again reminded of the fact, that this my present reality is, a great paradigm, leading to a an ever deepening understanding of our spiritual journey. On this journey there are the times when we physically cannot see beyond the next step. There are times when our view of our God is lost in doubt, uncertainty, and disbelief. All of these are part and parcel of this earthly journey of ours, as spiritual beings. This is our lot as every moment we journey, enfleshed in a humanity, that is ever and always transforming us. All of these experiences are used by God to mold us into who He has intended us to be, and so fulfill our destiny. It is in this way we fulfill our vocation. This is the source of real joy, and lasting happiness.
"God I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me, nor do I really know myself." This has been my prayer for the “Foggy Days". As I get older that prayer has become my abiding, comforting, and consoling companion. Each time it brings with it new meanings, and insights. I wish the same for you, as you journey through your “Foggy Days". Speaking about foggy, ever drive from Brookings to Meyer's Beach, on the Oregon Coast?On this stretch of highway, one meets serious fog banks. As I drive, there are times when I can barely see the road ahead. After awhile, I begin to ask the question, "Will this ever break up, so I can be in sunlight?” This goes on for a time. Just as I have given up, and accepted the fact, not very willingly, this is going to be one of those endless foggy days, I drive into brilliant sunshine, and awe-full scenery. What a change of attitude occurs within. I go from being discouraged, and disheartened, to being wide awake to the beauty, and wonder right there before me. That particular is just filled with places that evoke thoughts and feelings that cannot be expressed in limited words. Words, cannot describe mystery. As I am enjoying these, WOW (wonder on
wonder) moments, guess what? Into a dense fog bank I go. My joyful optimism, with its feeling that everything is now going to be okay, suddenly disappears. It is back to hanging on, doing what is necessary to stay on the road, and avoid an accident. I go back to being very much awake. Alert to traffic, in front, behind, and that which appears beside you. Now on top of these anxious thoughts and feelings the "itty bitty negative committee", make its presence felt.
We all have that "itty bitty negative committee". It has taken a room in our heads, and is not easily evicted. The best we can do is to develop a strategy which will enable us to to reject its constant negative messaging. This demands constant alertness. I must remember I am more than any thought or action. I am not the person others see, or believe they see. I have the eternal within, nestled in a place no sin can touch. That committee is the lie which always must be replaced with The Truth. This is our life long battle. We engage in that battle every moment we are given to live. In this way we are life givers to ourselves, and hence to others. We can also choose, yes this is a choice, we are death dealers to ourselves and consequently to others. Of our essence we are good, right? We are always on a journey of discovery into that reality. This journey we call life.
As I find myself in that dense fog, " the committee" starts up, and can do a real number on me. But I have to choose to allow it. It is not God's will that I am bombarded with this negativity. This is the result of a, as yet, non- transformed human condition. It takes a real conscious effort to break away from that negative thinking. It is essential to reject the lie, so as to be lead into the truth. One is lead to the belief that in this called to the understanding since this is now part of my reality, Reality, God, is to be found. A lesson is learned. The revelation of the wisdom will take time. The wisdom will be slow in coming, but WILL appear when we are most need of a deeper insight. This will be an insight that will be way beyond the obvious. God, through the power of His merciful love, turns the lemons we create, in lemonade. With God all things are possible, and with Him nothing is impossible. (The source of great hope.) That is why I have real trouble with that statement, "God did this for a reason" when something bad happens. This Is NOT God's will! He, of His essence cannot harm us, so as to make Himself look good. Think about that for a while…….. A god that inflicts evil so as to look good rescuing us, is a god that must be rejected. Bad things happen when we misuse our free will. Bad things happen to us when others misuse their free will and we become the victims of their dysfunction. What happens to us has nothing to do with the living God, whom The Christ Child, is the revelation of. Can such a God who came to us as a vulnerable Child, take advantage of us in our vulnerability? That would make God an abuser. We find ourselves so ready to automatically blame God, rather take responsibility for our part in what has happened.
This takes real honesty. We also have to confront others in their misuse of their free will, as it applies to our well being. It takes real courage to be healthy and challenge others to treat us in a healthy manner as well. We will not think our way into this healthy state, we will have to act our way, into this
new, unfamiliar, uncomfortable way of living. Yes, it will be the latter for a long time. So, do not give up. You are giving birth to who you really are. All birthing involves pain. So it is with us. For each one to become our real selves, which is where our God reveals Himself, we have to take the risk of being rejected by family, and so called "friends ". Your healthy family and REAL friend, will be only too will to encourage you, as this new reality emerges from within. So then when “stuff happens", and it will, let us not be too ready to blame God, rather than take personal responsibility for what has happened.
Let us ask for the grace, the strength, the courage, to hold others to become healthy and responsible. Do not act out victim behavior. We all have to choose to be survivors, living a life of peace, joy, and freedom. We reject the life of the victim, living a life of guilt, fear and shame. At times, we must risk a fight rather than settle for dysfunction. We must challenge those who are too ready to give God a bad name. We must not allow "the blaming game”, be played out in our presence. Why? We must know this to happen as it creates a false understanding of our Gracious God. We must not buy into the lie, no matter how popular the lie is. A lie is a lie and we must not choose, or allow ourselves to become the people of the lie. (Peck) "This is a way of living that makes our life here on a earth a living hell.” Hell is where God, is not. "It is heaven all the way to heaven, and it is Hell all the way to hell." Teresa of Avila. The old order, we find has passed away. Behold we now experience “new Heavens and new earth”. By The Lord, has this been done, and it is wonder- full to behold, and reflect on. This is why we are so lucky to be gifted with this season of expectation, and active waiting.
Just as the message of The coming Savior came to John The Baptist, in the desert. In like manner, the beginning of our journey into the Good News, always begins in our desert experience. Or, it will happen, as it has so often for me, in deep fog, as I hang on for dear life. As I look back this has been my experience, yet I always hope, the next time it will be different. The only difference is it just goes deeper. So where are you experiencing your personal desert, as an individual, a couple, a family. Where do need to hear the consoling Good News, there is a Savior and He has come, not only to be for us, but to be with us, and within us. It is the acceptance of our deepest reality, a highway for our God is created. Highways do not just appear. They demand hard, difficult and sustained work. We are never alone in our “highway making”. We will always be guarantee whatever is, “The Daily Bread” we will need.