Friday, May 8, 2009

"What Must I DO..?!?"

Jesus was asked, by the rich young ruler, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life." First, Jesus says that only God is good ... while not denying that He is good (therefore, He is God). Then, after going through the commandments (which the man claims he has kept throughout his life ... oh really...?), Jesus tells him there is one more thing he must "do" ... to sell all he has and give it to the poor. The man walks away, sad, unable to do that.

What if Jesus wasn't teaching that we have to *do* anything to enter the Kingdom, but that He was only meeting the man in the realm of his own doingness-understanding, and challenging him on it? Or do we seriously believe that rich folks cannot enter the kingdom? Or that we have to DO something, anything, to earn God's favor...? Wasn't the Law-experiment all about showing us that such an attempt was IMpossible? Isn't grace a message about beingness trumping doingness ...?

Why are we so hung up on requirement and achievement? I'd like to unpack that a bit:

If we do all the things we imagine we have to do, in order to make life work, in order to please God, something funny happens: we discover that none of it is necessary.

If we were to ask the happiest, most peaceful older folks we know, "what's your best advice on how to live life?" what might they say?

- "Disobey the rules."
- "Color outside the lines."
- "Don't be afraid."
- "Listen to your heart."
- "Don't let anyone tell you what to do"

(even as I type, I'm aware that the doctrine-of-requirement would tell me that I'm inciting rebellion...)

I'm beginning to believe that this is true: that at the end of my life, I will know that nothing I ever did mattered -- only who I have been while I have done it.

I also believe that this may be true: that no one has to do anything that they do not wish to do.

(as I type, I realize that for most folks this is both incredibly freeing, and incredibly frightening to contemplate...)

The fear goes like this, "If human beings were allowed to do only what they really desired to do, nothing that really needs to be done would get done." Most humans believe that if we aren't forced/coerced/manipulated/guilted/frightened into doing things, we wouldn't do what needs to be done to keep life going as it needs to go. Without the constraints and the restraints, we would run amok.

Quite a dire view of humanity, no?

But what if we discovered that human beings rise to the occasion? What if we discovered that in communities where there are no rules, no regulations, no requirements, there would still be plenty of people who would accomplish the things that need to be accomplished..?

What would it take for such a community to exist? What would need to change? What would change is not what's being done, but *why* it's being done. If we knew who we were ... how we are related to God, and to each other (rather than believing that we are separate from each other), we would choose to do what we do out of who we ARE. One. If we *really* knew that, we would love one another as we love ourselves. And that would be a radical departure from how we now live, under the belief of separation.

Within this belief of separation, we have imagined a God who demands perfection of us ... who requires that we approach Him in a certain way, with the required words, through required rituals. We believe that we must meet these requirements in order to appease this God, in order to win His approval, His love.

Having done that, ad nauseam, and discovering that it doesn't "work" ... we can begin to experience the indescribable joy of realizing that none of this is necessary...!

It begins to dawn on us that "rewards" can come to those who do not do what they're "supposed to do" (meet the requirements). The sun shines on all, the rain falls on all. Blessings can come to all. (Further, it really irks the snot out of those who "do all the right things" and experience "bad stuff" ... and yet perhaps it's only our perception, influenced by skewy judgment, that renders something "bad'... perhaps we need "eyes to see".)

Blessings are an outcome of life ... living in the blessing of a God who is, as His nature, Unconditional Love. So, too, we may come to realize, even while in this life, that the outcome of this life, what we call the after-life, is not a reward, but an outcome of the One who is Unconditional Love.

Perhaps then, if we can dare to grasp that, we will understand freedom ... for our true nature is freedom. Perhaps we will then no longer confuse love with requirement, for true love requires nothing.

True love requires nothing.

And in that understanding, we are truly free to choose to love God, and to love each other... fulfilling the Great Promise.

At least, that's how I'm seeing it these days ...

Shalom, Dena


Anonymous said...

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20, NIV).

If there is an issue, it is not God, but our thoughts that bring a barrier. God has reconciled Himself to us while we were sinners.

All things are from God, who has restored us to friendship with
himself through the Anointed One. (The source)

Dena said...

Yes - beautiful! Our thoughts get in the way of what we see. It's become my joy to question my thinking ... we do NOT have to believe everything we think - whew!

Thanks for chiming in with more truth!

Shalom, Dena