January 24, 2021 In Spiritual Reflections
Things I Know To Be True
I imagine for my entire life I will wrestle with these spiritual questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Who is God and what is my relation/relationship to God. Why must we suffer? How do I live a life that feels good on the inside and out; but also reflects how grateful I am for getting to participate?
In Letters to a Young Poet, Maria Rainer Rilke commends, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” In this spirit, I have started a list of things I believe to be true (or pray to be true!) I hope they give us a point of reference as we put one foot in front of the other and brave whatever this new year holds.
The surest way to a life of meaning is to make a difference for good in the life of another. Not a day should pass that we do not perform some gesture of kindness.
Courage feels really good; welcome any opportunity to work its muscle. We are built to do brave things.
Stay spiritually curious. There is a sacred reality very much alive and accessible within and all around us.
Nothing of value or lasting meaning comes without effort, some sacrifice, and an investment from the best in us.
True prayer comes from the deep and vulnerable within. Be convinced that Someone (the Creator, God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus….) is listening and cares.
Unconditional love is the ultimate way to love. If you offer love for your gain or attach with conditions— then it is not love.
Refusal to forgive and show mercy makes us sick from the inside out. And may even shorten a lifespan.
A remarkable and redemptive divine plan is in motion, where all will come together for good.
The poet Malcolm Guite said, “God comes to us disguised as everything.” Raise your antenna. God is a master conversationalist through art and nature, prayer and the scriptures, even in the words, acts, and deeds of one another. It’s quite exciting!
Life is much shorter than we believe. There isn’t time to be wasted on things that probably won’t even matter in two weeks time. Fear robs us of marvelous opportunities for joy and the real person God needs for us to be in the world.
If you are struggling to manage this human spiritual endeavor, look to Jesus. He mapped it out for us: love, pray, spend time away from the hustle, surround yourself with family and friends, take care of another, hold on to hope, trust God, forgive, heal, enjoy nature, food, and fellowship, see that your life serves a larger purpose.
Sorrow will tap you on the shoulder. Build a faith and a community to sustain you when the darkness comes.
There is no getting around our mortality. Our only consolation is the example of Jesus’ life and the natural laws of nature. God stepped in and revealed there is life after death. Anything created in love will have no end. Nature is a living blueprint for what we can expect in our own lives: resurrection.
Self-care and practicing the sabbath helps us leave a kinder, gentler footprint in the world.
God wants us to feel joy often.
There is nothing more marvelous and worth working toward than having peace in one’s soul.
The soul is eternal and will live on.
Life is a marathon of hope.
Listen to You Put This Love In My Heart by Good Shepherd Music Collective.