Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Prodigal Prophet

A friend introduced me to a new author - and so far I really like what he has to say. He has a blog and a book - The Prodigal Prophet. His name is Dylan Morrison and below is one of his blog posts. Enjoy!

Belief or Trust?

Belief or Trust?
Belief or Trust?
The religious word faith carries so much metaphysical and cultural baggage that it’s now a hindrance to those looking for the big answers in life. The original Greek word pistis as found in the New testament can mean, faith, belief or trust. So let’s start 2013 by stripping away some of the spiritual clutter. I wish to set aside the over-used word faith and chose a more meaningful replacement. However should I go for belief or trust?
1) Belief
I’m often asked what I believe. A good question that I’m not sure I can answer in the affirmative. I guess I can tell you what I no longer believe. For many years following my initial Divine encounter I jumped on and successfully clung to the evangelical band-wagon. It didn’t take long to pick up what I was supposed to believe; there were plenty of zealous teachers out there to ‘feed’ me in the basics of the faith. All my beliefs were to square with the Bible, the Spirit inspired Word of God. This is where I took my first wrong turn. The complexities and paradoxes of the Scriptural accounts of God’s dealings with the Jewish and Christian tribes were ignored by my evangelical educators. Being new to the faith,I was fed the simplified version that God had forgiven me my sins by a blood sacrifice that had been set up by God Himself, that I had the bible as a handbook and that if I joined a good church then I would remain on the straight and narrow. As time progressed more and more little extra beliefs were added to the tenuous tower of dogma that was quickly becoming Truth, the lens through which I was to view the world in all its fallen state.
The trouble with belief is that it was never designed to remain constant. It comprises thoughts and concepts that change over time adjusted by the experiences of life. It’s a bit like going for one’s annual eye-test. As the optometrist places various lenses in front of our eyeball she sweetly asks ‘Which one is clearer? This one ….. or that one?’ As we embarrassingly blurt out our answer, totally unsure of the correctness of our answer, we are well on the way to our new pair of specs through which we will perceive our world for the next year. And so with belief. The belief system or dogma of our post conversion indoctrination does a good job for a while. For some it is months, for some years and for the stalwarts of the prevailing orthodoxy a lifetime.
The mind is a great tool for dealing with this material world that bumps into us as soon as we wake each morning. Its powers of analysis are a wonderful asset in deciding whether to buy a PC or a Mac, a hotdog or a cheeseburger, a Ford or a Toyota. It’s a complex computer through which the operating system of our belief makes sense of the slow energy or matter that we encounter. Yet like all good software, regular updates are needed as we encounter new problems, unable to be solved by the old version. Beliefs are a skeletal structure on which we hang our broken humanity, yet they are not the channels of spiritual reality, of Divine Life. They are psychic signposts, pointing backwards to a place we have been, not to a destination as yet unvisited.
Beliefs are the bulwark of religion. Without beliefs the whole edifice of religious structures come tumbling down. ‘We believe this. The guys down the road believe that. Come and attach yourself to us for we have captured the Divine Mystery in our body of teaching. We teach only what the Bible says.’ And so the religious games continue until we can no longer wear the specs that were given us on our initiation into the sect of our choice.
So where does that leave us? On the rocks of atheism or a post religious agnosticism. I don’t believe so. Beliefs were never meant to communicate Divine Reality. They are a by-product of our wonderful brain CPU. Like clouds rolling along in the highest heavens, they are interesting to behold, admire and even discuss but too ethereal to cling onto. No, we need something much more substantial at the core of our being, a connection with Divine Love that won’t let us down.
2) Trust
Trust is the real deal, a gift that is able to carry our sanity to the very gates of Heaven. Altogether different from belief, trust is made of some kind of substance that doesn’t originate in the supercomputer of our brain-mind. It appears to flow from a higher Source, an I-Am-ness that lies beyond the mind tricks of our consciousness. Trust can carry the weight of our existential angst, the gnawing unknowing of the sojourner as he plods wearily through space-time looking for answers. A faithful companion trust is ever-present at our side willing to lend a helping hand as we stagger under the weight of thought and shifting belief. Trust is an emissary of Divine Love, one sent to navigate us through the swirling waters of life’s pressures and loneliness.
OK, so how does this most precious of spiritual commodities arrive on our psychic doorstep?
Simply put, trust is a gift. It is given, neither earned nor achieved, contrary to the prevailing religious mindset that asks us to jump through the hoops of spiritual discipline to find it. No, the shocking truth is that it seems to be a part of the Divine Essence itself a little spark from the Eternal Flame that catches fire in the dry tinder of the broken psyche. Trust appears to come from outside space-time, an eternally benign virus that is thankfully hard to shake off. Once we’ve been infected we can never be the same again. Belief, the previous controller of our destiny is consigned to the back seat, where it can rant and rave for all it’s worth before falling asleep in the quiet security that trust knows the Way.
Trust manifests itself in the darkness of adversity; the silent traveling companion who takes over when the chips are down. When life pitches an unexpected ball of circumstance at us, it is trust who bats for us in the psychic game of confusion. Trust is not stoicism, the religious substitute that promises to deaden the pain of reality. No, trust works quietly in the midst of our pain and sense of desolation, in the all too real screams of our frightened psyche. Trust will not place the lid of denial on our inner terror, but will sit by holding our hand as we vent our anger on ourselves, others and the Divine itself. When the pain subsides, trust takes our hand like a kindly nurse and leads us on into healing, a place of deeper wisdom where we know we are Loved.
So how is trust strengthened?
Simply this. When we hear the Divine Voice, the well of trust is replenished and filled. Trust is a reflex action to the hushed tones of Spirit Breath. Thankfully God is a God of few words, unlike many of His kids. When a Divine message arrives it is usually short and sweet. Straight to the point or heart of the matter. Divine Wisdom knows that a multiplicity of words will only open us up to the misinterpretation of our belief obsessed minds. Divine messages are primarily aimed at the heart or spirit, not the analysis of our so-called rational minds. So how do I tune into these Divine transmissions?
In my next post I’ll look at how the Divine talks to us without us realizing.

Go find his blog and read some of the other great posts!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sitting here....

Sitting here, drinking a cup of cafĂ© mocha, staring out the window. Too many thoughts in my head to focus. Too much anxiety swirling around to relax. I guess optimism can only get you so far. There should be no problem. I’m feeling good, work is going well; I’ve gotten together and/or talked on the phone with friends old and new. October is here, sunny and mild with bright blue skies and gentle breezes. And still I feel unease deep, deep inside.

It’s annoying to be honest. I want to forget the past and go forward, embracing all the good to come. And yet….

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

They come in threes...

This beautiful bird, well not THIS one, but one like it, crashed into our patio doors on Saturday. Don't ask me why - I don't even wash my windows....

I guess it was a combination of the time of day and light reflection on the glass. Otherwise, what was this Cedar Waxwing trying to do? I mean, if there is no reflection it should clearly see a wall beyond that glass.I felt horrible tho. It probably broke it's neck and it lay there injured and shaking. I had to go get my husband to take care of it.

And then, today I look out my window at school and there is an injured squirrel. I don't know what was wrong. Maybe it fell out of a tree? At first I thought it was dead, as did another squirrel who gingerly walked up to it. It took off, made it to the base of the tree and rested against it vertically for about five minutes. Then it took off for about 5 yards and took another rest break. It was all over the place for about an hour doing this. Sometimes at the base of a tree, sometimes in the open grass. It would lay absolutely still and rest while the breeze ruffled it's furry tail. I don't know what happened to him, or if he survived. Maybe he was just old?

So what will the third animal be? I'm almost afraid to drive home for fear I'll hit something....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crowning Achievement..

I have been having issues with a tooth for months. 8 months. But due to medical issues I have been unable to go to the dentist. So it was with fear and trepidation I went to the dentist today. I fully expected them to tell me I needed a crown. The dental assistant took x-rays determined it was gonna be a close call, I might need a root canal! That did not make me happy....

The dentist came in and did his thing and finally determined that I was lucky, the decay had NOT reached the nerve and a crown is all I need. Whew. So now I have a temporary crown for two weeks until I get the permanent one.

The worst part of the whole thing is this allergy/sinus thing I've got going on. Ever try to go to the dentist when you can't breathe through your nose?

Monday, September 24, 2012

pass the tissues....

Oh no! It appears I'm getting sick. Dunno if it's allergies or sinus, but it's not fun. I should have known on Saturday when my ears started feeling like there was water in them. The last thing I want to do is take more and more medication. But right now I am downright miserable. :(

And tomorrow I have to go to the dentist. More fun.
But necessary. Due to ongoing medical issues I had to put it off for 8 months. Now I'm going. Hell or High water; blocked nose or sore throat.

We had frost this morning! Hopefully it will kill the allergens, but not the tomatoes. I am not ready for my tomatoes to go away. I'm ready for some good old fashioned fall however, warm and breezy, with that late afternoon patina when the sun is hitting the earth just right.

I'm ready for casseroles and soup, sweaters and and naps in the sun. Hot chocolate, hot cider, apple picking and pumpkins. Blue skies, bright leaves and football! Quilts on the bed and snuggling with the dog.

I love fall!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

If you have nothing good to say....

Oh my, it's been a long week. Loooooooooong. It's been such a long, aggravating week I have nothing good to say. Let's just say I have bus tracks on my back....
So today I think I shall treat myself to a night out. Dinner at a Greek restaurant and a movie. The Master. And to get myself back on track I'll list three good things about the week....

  • Revolution started
  • MAP (measures of academic progress ... went smoothly on day one.
  • Carissa called me just to talk. :)

Oh, wait, I thought of a fourth one! AUTUMN is here!