I went to church this morning to listen to my Dad's sermon, only to find that I had forgotten ... that of course, my dad would not be giving the sermon since he was on vacation this past week. I truthfully may not have attended church if I had remembered this. I do not mean this in any negative light to anyone that delivers the sermon when my dad is away... the truth is - I do not attend service that often as is and so when I do I try to be there when my dad is preaching, as I find the experience of listening to my father give the sermon and leading worship to be yet another beautiful way that I am able to connect with him. I find that there are times, when I am listening to my Dad speak at church, that I feel that I am being gifted with the opportunity to come to my know my Dad at a deeper level and this I love.
Today though, was a wonderful surprise for me - it gave me the chance to hear another's understanding of the words of the Bible and the teachings of God.
I believe that we are all entitled to our own interpretation of the Bible, in the name of good and love. The man who spoke today, receives the words of the Bible more closely and literally than I do, but in the end, we see them in the same light - we see them as words of Love. We see the words as a call to live out our lives in the name of Love, Light and in service to others.
While he spoke today, I found myself thinking about what I would say if I were asked to deliver the sermon someday... I want to share some of my thoughts with you now. Spoiler alert if I ever do deliver a sermon at my father's church - some of the words may be familiar... but I think they are worth reading or hearing more than once.
I believe that God, Allah, Abhor (Hebrew), The Lord -- however it is that you know him -- the higher power -- is in each of us. I subscribe to the belief, that pieces of the higher power reside in each of us. The words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin came to me here --
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. "
As I sat in the pew today, next to my parents and two of the most compassionate people and parents I know, I found it impossible to be filled with anything but the feeling of love and faith that the higher power within us all will prevail over all that comes our way. Sitting there, looking up at the man delivering the sermon, I found myself viewing him separate of his human existence - instead seeing him as the spiritual being that he is, full of the love and light of the higher power that is within us all.
Some may argue that we are mere mortals and the Lord is called the higher power for a reason, as he is greater than us. I want to be clear here, I am not saying that anyone else's view is incorrect. What I am saying, is that I believe, that deep down within us the love and light of the higher power resides within us -- whether or not we ever tap into it is a discussion for another time. And a question that I foresee coming up here is, "if the higher power is within us, than why is there so much "evil" and pain in the world"?. This is not an easy question to answer and I will admit that I do not have all the answers. I have my beliefs and faith though and I believe in the goodness of humanity and of our spiritual beings shining forth in the name of Love and Light. There is an incredible amount of good being done in the world today and everyday. It can easily seem as though there is not because acts of kindness, acts of selfless love and of forgiveness are rarely given attention in the news, but they are there - moments of grace, moments that can allow for one's faith in humanity to be restored. If we give into the thought that darkness reigns over light and love, than the thought of effecting change and being the change may seem too great a task to take on, which can allow for fear to stop us in our tracks - keeping us from acknowledging the greatness of Love within us. The words of Marianne Williamson came to me here as she said --
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others" -Marianne Williamson. I would argue that being a child of God, of the higher power, means that you, yourself are a piece of the higher power, here on this Earth to make a positive impact in the name of Love and Light. When we see this greatness in others, we inevitably come to see it in ourselves -- transforming our view of those around us, into one that sees the beautiful soul living within them, instead of only seeing the "physical shell"/the body of the human self that the soul, the higher power lives within. This transformed way of looking at the world and those around us makes it nearly impossible to see the good in all and to keep a smile from your face and who doesn't love smiling.
My sharing of thoughts here may seem a bit disjointed and this is because it kind of is. My moments of thinking were mixed in with my listening to the words of the one giving the sermon today. And at this point in my train of thought, I remember looking up, so that I was not only hearing the words said, but also observing the way in which they were delivered and the person saying them... here is what I saw -- I saw a man who I have known for the greater part of my life, speaking passionately, from his heart and from a space of a higher calling. I saw love in his eyes, as he looked out upon everyone seated in front of him this morning. I saw someone who I would easily describe as a big teddy bear... standing at over 6 feet tall, he makes my height feel very small, but he never once has made my Being - the higher power within me feel small... instead he is one of those people, who believes so strongly in honoring the uniqueness in each and everyone of us - that he has always provided space for the light, the higher power and energy within me to shine bright in his presence and what a beautiful gift that is.
Whatever your belief is, whether you believe in the existence of God or not, regardless of the label placed on your belief - you are a beautiful Being -- never forget that. Peace, Namaste.
I discovered this song, Follow the Sun, by Xavier Rudd a few weeks back now and have listened to it each morning since. The lyrics are a beautiful reminder to cherish each moment that we have, a beautiful reminder to come back to the breath, breathing in the air and cherishing the sun (-Xavier Rudd). I believe there to be great power in music. Listening to music or singing along to a song can calm my mind, bring me to tears, get me into a silly dancing mood, or can generate wonderful conversation. Whatever it is, I am so appreciative for it. This particular song brings me to a place of peace, calming my mind and centering my spirit, as it reminds me to cherish this moment, cherish this breath. As I continue on this path of living with intention, living in a peaceful and mindful way, I still find that there are times when I can easily become caught up in the busyness of the chaos of society as we know it. In those moments, the reminder to come back to the breath and to see all that is around me as a blessing is truly peaceful. I encourage everyone to take a moment and listen to this song. Perhaps, even allowing your eyes to close and the lyrics fill the air of the space you are in. Peace, love and light. ૐ
A spiritual being on a physical journey, striving to make a positive impact on this world through my actions and loving intention. I believe that we are all capable of greatness, it is how we channel this great energy that matters... I choose to express it in the name of -- peace and love.