(normally I'm just high on my one adrenaline -- right now I'm dual-drugging...!)
But I do want to share two things which struck me in my own readings this morning. The first is from my not-yet-met friend Richard Rohr. The beauty and power of what he shares here impacted my soul - resulting in a big ol' inner-YES! May it lift you up higher, and invite you to dig deeper:
It’s not, “If I am moral, I will someday achieve union with God.” That’s backwards. We must put the horse before the cart, and not the cart before the horse. Union with God is objectively already given to everyone from the moment of their creation. Who else created them? All we can do is awaken to it. We cannot achieve it. Once we live the life of union and abundance—not hating ourselves and apologizing for ourselves every minute—then we start living in our inherent dignity, a dignity that no behavior has given to us and no one can take away.
Then the horse is first and the cart comes along. Not “If I am moral, I will be in union with God, but when I live in union with God, morality will come naturally and powerfully!” A completely different path.
(is that not uber-glorious..?!?)
The second sharing is from my actually-met friend Micah Redding (the lead singer of my fave rock band, The Redding Brothers - www.reddingbrothers.com - and a generally brilliant-yet-accessible sorta guy). This is part of an ongoing conversation, elsewhere, about the meaning(s) of Noah's flood. What's highly ironic (and oh-so-cool) is that Mark and I were having this very conversation this very morning...! Mark and I each do our own "greet the day" time of reading and reflection ... we then come together to share what we're seeing, and then go for a race/power walk, to explore further. Wondermous way to start the day!
So, to find that Micah unpacked and expounded upon what we were saying just makes me smile my face off ... and so I must share:
I think historically there was a large regional flood in the general
area the biblical authors were concerned with. But there have also
been all manner of other catastrophes throughout history. Why is this
one singled out for inclusion in the story?
From my perspective, I have a hard time NOT attributing the flood to God. After all, I see God as encompassing everything, including disasters and deaths. Even the bible seems to suggest that we blame ALL bad things on God (but also give him credit for all the good things). From my perspective, I have to implicate God in the biblical
flood, as well as in modern hurricanes and tornadoes.
The biblical authors saw everything as being an action of God. I tend to see everything as being from God. That's pretty much the same.
The difference is that the biblical authors "read" the flood as a story about God's judgment, while MOST of us wouldn't "read" modern hurricanes as meaning anything. The biblical authors "read" everything as if it carried a rather superficial moral story with it, while people who see things that way now are labeled crackpots.
The book of Job visibly deconstructs this mentality. Job suffers, his friends tell him his suffering is from God - because God wants to punish Job. The story says YES(!) the suffering IS from God, but humans have no ability to attribute moral stories to the suffering we see.
With Job in mind, we can see that the bible is actually rather insistently telling us this. God seeks righteousness by killing off people, and then "sees" that that doesn't work. God seeks righteousness by destroying an ancient political system (the tower of babel), and then "sees" that that doesn't work. God seeks righteousness by establishing a new nation, and then "sees" that that doesn't work. God seeks righteousness by delivering a law, and then "sees" that that doesn't work. On and on and on.
The biblical authors either thought God ineffective, or thought God was trying to demonstrate what DOESN'T WORK. I tend to see the bible as a big work of deconstructing the entire religious mentality itself.
LOL - why do we not see how absurd our traditions paint God to be..? No wonder so many of us have a schizophrenic relationship with Him ... "is He in a good mood, or a bad mood today? Is He prone toward mercy or wrath? Can I hide well enough behind Jesus, so that I don't get zapped..?"
Yeah, I'm with Micah (and thus Borg, and Rohr, and my friends at Presence, and SO very many others who are all awakening to the "much more" of the Spirit's leadings) - I'm going with God demonstrating, throughout history, how absurd our thinking is about Him ... I'm going with the God revealed through Jesus - the God I'm experiencing within me, at the intersection of spirit and Spirit....!
May we all have the courage to examine and scrutinize our screwy-thinking about God ... May we tune in to how HE's revealing Himself, in and through and around us...!
(oh - and for those who care to read more about that conversation about the Flood, followo this link: http://www.presence.tv/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?1587/1763 )