Help Uplift

The path we’re on

Is what we know.

Plus what others

Choose to show.

If given glimpses,

Access to

The pains and triumphs

“They” go through,

Honor it,

For such a gift

It is to see

and help uplift.

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Path Be Dark

Though path be dark and home be far,

Practice “grateful” where you are.

The road may not be clear ahead,

So simply follow where you’re lead

By the Quiet Voice within

That sings beneath the worldly din.

Though path be dark and home be far,

Hold fast to your Inner Star.

Follow Her to where She sets.

The journey isn’t over yet.

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The Rest

I face the rising sun,

And pray, “Thy will be done.”

‘Tis not for sloth or lack of care

That has me ending my prayer there.

Rather, I trust You are good.

All my life I’ve understood

That if You’re goodness proves as true,

Then I can leave all things to You,

Surrendering my need to grasp,

Or to my sense of power clasp.

With my eyes down, I’ll do my best,

And leave in Your good hands the rest.

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Single Way

When it comes to living Faith,

One cannot linger where it’s safe.

Out of fear of being wrong,

We tend to string two paths along

And ever caught betwixt the pair,

We miss disaster by a hair;

Or else we stumble and we fall,

Our neutral stance no help at all.

Far better to inquire within,

To enter Silence and begin

With listening for our own Heart

To tell us where it’s best to start.

From there we choose a single way,

Devoted to it every day,

Trusting that it’s from above,

Long as it bears the fruit of Love.

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We cling so hard to our own plans,

And when they fail we fist our hands

Wondering why life is so

Unfair and out of our control.

All this is a lack of trust

That things will play out as they must.

We get so blinded by our will,

We miss so many chances. Still,

There’s hope for those with ears to hear

The message coming loud and clear.

If we release our need to steer,

Fantastic things could happen here.

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Faith and 3-D Movies

When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all these signs came to pass that day. — 1 Samuel 10:9, RSV

Have you ever gone to a 3-D movie? I’m personally not a huge fan, but I’ve still managed to find myself dragged to Finding Nemo, My Bloody Valentine, and other headache-inducing films that required plastic glasses. What I found was that the movie was actually more annoying without the glasses, all fuzzy and oddly distorted. When I put on the glasses, I may not have liked things flying at me, but at least I got to fully experience the actual movie.

I find that faith works in much the same way.

Living in a consumerist nation like the U.S., it is second nature to want some kind of proof or evidence before committing to anything. If I am going to purchase a product, its quality and function should somehow be vouched for or proven, which makes sense. The problem comes when we apply this kind of thinking to the experience of God.

As I will talk about next week, the Church is not meant to operate like the rest of the world. While we can shop for and “dip our toes” into everything else, the life of faith is one that comes to fruition only after we surrender to it in one way or another. Just like the movie, an immersive experience is the only way to get a full sense of God’s promises and action in the world.

The quote that kicks off this post comes from 1 Samuel 10, in which Samuel anoints Saul as the first king of Israel. After Samuel gives Saul a detailed account of all that is to come, God gives Saul “another heart,” and then “all these signs came to pass that day.” Before Saul could experience all the wonders God had in store for him, he needed a new heart, to become a different person.

As Christians, we are to “be transformed by the renewal” of our minds, in order to “prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Before we can fully experience, appreciate, and participate with regard to the Divine Presence, we must change by accepting God’s invitation as offered through Jesus. Even if we aren’t entirely sold on the idea, we must at least be truly willing to try, actively inviting God to give us a new heart with which we might understand the truth.

I used to spend much of my life waiting for signs to show me it was acceptable to submit myself to discipleship. I wanted to know this was true, dammit! The interesting thing is that it was only after I decided to actively try to believe (even in the absence of my required evidence) that I began to see all that God was doing in my life.

If you’ve been sitting around waiting for signs, I can honestly tell you that I understand. We are taught from a young age to look for evidence, to never commit to something without proving it first. However, I can also honestly tell you that the only signs you’re likely to encounter are those that point you to the curtain of faith. For anything more, you’ll have to walk behind that curtain.

What does this look like? Practice. Faith is learned by doing, not by abstract theories and considerations. If you want to see God at work among the poor, go work among the poor. If you want to see prayer work, offer to pray with a hurting stranger. The Christian faith is designed to walk, talk, and breathe. It is earthy, tactile, and real, and it can only be fully experienced when practiced.

I continue to struggle with walking in the life of faith, as I’m sure many of us do. I’m skeptical by nature, and I second guess everything. However, I’ve found that when I stop debating every Divine moment in my head and simply act as Jesus leads me, powerful manifestations of the grace of God follow. I would covet your prayers as I continue on this lifelong journey, and it’s my prayer that you will walk this road with me, that we may together experience all that the Kingdom of God has in store for us.

Peace be with you!