Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Conversation ...

I'm having this conversation with someone who sees a bit differently than I do (which happens a lot, LOL!) ... and I notice that in having the conversation, as I respond, clarity comes. I notice that I often write things I didn't know I knew, 'til I wrote them. I notice that I learn in process ... that it's not about "figuring it all out," but observing what unfolds along the way. Quite a relief to this former anal-queen-perfectionist, LOL!

I'll share the conversation here, in case someone else can relate in some way (my words are in bold; theirs are in italics):

I appreciate your thoughts ... and we see much the same. The differences have to do with the uniqueness of each of our journeys ... neither of us started in the same place, and each of us has had unique things to overcome, to see, to understand, to rise above. While He is both Guide and Goal, and we will end up in the same fuller-understanding, our pathways along the way to all truth are likely (if not guaranteed) to appear dissimilar.

I can tell you what's true for me, as I've experienced Him in my life, and you can tell me what's true for you, as you've experienced Him in your life ... and there will indeed be much overlap. However, it would be folly and presumption for any in-process/finite/limited-perspectived human being to tell another in-process/finite/limited-perspectived human being what IS, and what IS NOT true for all beings, at one time. God meets us where we are, and leads us ever-more into all truth.

Our instructions, along the way, during this transformation/mind-renewal process we call "life", is to love ... to love all others as ourselves, whether we perceive the "other" to be brother/sister, friend, or "enemy."

And so, as I share my heart with you, with anyone, I am not saying "this is true for you"... I can make observations about what I perceive, at this point in time, and I can tell you what I perceive to be true for me, at this point in time (allowing for the possibility, if not probability, that God will lead me into a deeper truth that renders a former truth merely a stepping stone), but I am not making the assumption that my perceived truth is your applicable truth. I wouldn't put that on you ... neither do I accept another's truth as something to be put upon me. IF (& when), however, the Spirit within me says to me, "they've just reminded you of a truth that I've given you - receive it with joy", then I do so ... and I will celebrate that moment with you, grateful that you've cooperated with Him in my recognizing (re-cognizing, re-knowing) a Truth that He's given me.

(whew! can I get long-winded or what?!? LOL!)

With all that as preamble, I'll respond to what you wrote:

Dena, thank you for the kind words. Although the Lord is at work everywhere, everything is not his work. The Holy Spirit is given to lead us into all truth. If everything that happens was of him, then it would all be truth, and we would lead no one to be the truth discerner and teacher.

I appreciate that this is your perspective ... I would have once shared it with you. I no longer do ... I do see that God is in everything, that everything is of Him (for He tells us in scripture that He created even what we call "evil" for His purposes). God comes to me disguised as my own life. I receive it all as from His hand, and I let it unfold to show me the gift hiding within the presentation. I figure it's my perspective that needs adjusting when I resist what's happening ... and I notice that what I resist, persists. But when I thank Him for whatever is happening (whether or not I understand it, on the surface of it), I move from my perspective to His (for I have the Mind of Christ), and I'm better able to receive the gift, and to learn from whatever He is showing me in that circumstance. I confess, I'm sometimes more successful at this than others ... I'm very much a person-in-process ... but I even learn from my "mistakes", so it's all good, as He says it is.

The nature of the kingdom of God is both "Now" and "Not Yet". This is a concept that describes the tension we find in the Christian life. We are seated with him in heavenly places both now and not yet... There is always a coming reality that is greater than that which we have seen, and yet we have seen it. And since we have seen it, we know him by what he has given us... His son. Not by the creation in which we live, although it speaks of God, we would not have needed the manifestation of the son if we could fully know God without Him.

I appreciate that you see it this way, and, again, I once did as well. While there's no need to "compare" (or to compete) with our various perspectives (neither is "better" ... each just serves, or does not serve, where we are), this perspective no longer rings true for me, with where I am.

I see that it's indeed our perspective that the Kingdom is both "now" and "not yet", because of our experience (which, ironically enough, is dependent upon our perspective ... what we believe determines what we will experience). I now understand the Kingdom to be that which cannot be observed with our natural senses ... and I notice that Jesus told us this is so ("My Kingdom does not come with observation, but is in your midst."). I believe that the Kingdom is, and has always been, a NOW reality ... but that it is only spiritually discerned ... always available for those who will have eyes to see, and ears to hear ... seemingly out of reach for those who believe that God has to *do something* to make it come, in the future, in a tangible/physical manner (which would go contrary to Jesus' words, that it won't come by observation). And, in a historical-timeline perspective, I believe it already came.

So, if I could put it into words (which are always so inadequate), I'd say that I see/experience the Kingdom as NOW, and it is seen/experienced by us "waking up" to it's reality, rather than being seduced by the illusion of the physical realm.

It is important not to limit our understanding of what he has said to our own understanding. Now that will bring in some tension...

Very true ... and I observe that Christianity has taught us to do just that -- to limit how we experience God to our own "approved" collective-understanding. I've discovered that those human traditions no longer serve me. I'm discovering that I have to be "out of my mind" in order to experience God.

The Son was given to reveal the nature and character of the Father. It is written that the Father was in Him. However, it was not also written that the fullness of the Godhead is manifest in every person, even though it is in him we live and move and have our being.

I believe that while what is written is a way for us to begin to experience God and His truth, it is not the summation of all truth. I believe that scripture itself teaches us that. While I greatly appreciate the foundation of the written word, I no longer limit myself to what's written ... nor do I believe I'm meant to. I see that I'm meant to follow Christ, not the Bible... and I previously experienced the latter as a substitute for the former. I believe spiritual maturity requires moving from the tangible (the scriptures in hand) to the spiritual (the Living Word within) ... from the external, to the internal. From rules to relationship. From the observed to the experienced.

I have come to experience, and thus believe, that God is manifest within every person ... it's our perspective (and our human traditions) that tell us otherwise. I notice that there is no other Source of Life, but God. There is no competing life-source "out there." I believe that everything, seen and unseen, is a manifestation of the Life of God. I see Oneness all around me ... and that we are either aware of it, or unaware of it. But even if we are asleep to it, we can awaken. In fact, I'm delighted to observe that many, many are awakening, to this awareness of Oneness...

The ability to function in the kingdom of God is found in being able to live in tension between two seemingly opposite truths. It feels just like walking on water... And it is glorious! Amen...

Now THIS I heartily resonate with! Beautifully put! We do have to see that what we see is not really real. The truer-truth is found beyond the illusion of our physical surroundings ... even quantum physics is showing us that all physicality is but an illusion (love it when science catches up with God, LOL!).

It's a glorious thing to come to see Him as He Really Is, and to discover ourselves as We Really Are. He, and His truth, are mind-blowingly too good to NOT be true..!

Shalom, Dena


Patrick said...

Isn't it nice to be able to have a conversation where there is no need for a winner in the outcome...At least that is what it appears to have happened.

Dena said...

Wellll... she hasn't responded back yet. You could be right, but it's on a forum where the desire to 'score a point' seems to be a predominant value. You know how it is... (you *realy* know!).

But, I'm open to being pleasantly surprised! :)

Shalom, Dena