is neither good nor bad
it simply is.
how one handles it
can make it lean this way or that
any fool can start a conflict,
any fool can force uniformity
only real wisdom can make it good
The old “King James” translation of the bible had a phrase that popped up fairly often.
“…and it came to pass that…”
Whatever it is, it will come, and in time it will pass.
Whether it is bad and hurtful, even unimaginably destructive and terrifying …
…it will come … and it will eventually pass.
It may be good and indescribably beneficial, even truly wonderful….
… but it too will come, … and it too will eventually pass.
The word eventually is also an interesting turn of phrase.
It speaks to me of events.
Whatever it is, it is merely an event …a singular happening in a long line of other happenings.
And as we know events happen.
They come and they go.
They too will come … and they too will pass.
The same faith we extend to our universe … we choose to believe that it too is eternal, … infinite.
As scary as this might or might not be, this to me speaks of movement.
Whichever way I look at it, it speaks to me of always moving on, of not staying in the same place…
It also speaks to me of ever expanding horizons.
As we move on new horizons will come and go… and each new horizon will come, … and it will pass … into and on to the next new horizon.
… unless we stop.
It suggests to me that if we pitch our tent anywhere … literally, figuratively, theologically, doctrinally, politically, scientifically, culturally, socially, relationally, emotionally, or in any other way… we forfeit the wonder that could be ours.
We will forfeit the privileges of pilgrimage.
… and with all the joy we can muster, enjoy the ride…
We know this, that the physical life we live is not at all eternal.
We came, … we have a fairly good idea how, but we have no real idea why…
And we fill this gap with many beliefs… religious, scientific, meaningful, meaningless…
But this one thing we do know for sure… that we will all pass.
In the greater scheme of things we too are an it.
and the wind spoke
… that it roared
“don’t run to where you are celebrated
nor run from where you are only tolerated
stay where you are
be free to be free
be who you are
regardless of the cost”
freedom cannot be given
nor can freedom be taken
freedom cannot be bought
nor can it be sold
freedom is not a thing
freedom is simply free
and it is for freedom
that freedom is free
freedom can only appear
and it is at home wherever it is
and it is within
it is not without
it is within
wherever you are
so where are you?
the creator is at rest
the universes strive for nothing
all motion is balanced
what was started will flow
there are no surprises
except for those who will not see
but they are blind
and will not know
for they cannot
what is happening
will happen anyway
and either way
they will not know
we are the ones who judge
we who rage
who strive to be more
because we are empty
yet those who are empty and strive for more
can only be more empty
but the creator is at rest
the universes strive for nothing
all motion is balanced
and what was started will flow
but we judge ourselves
and we deserve what we get
what we deserve
but if we stop
for longer than we’ve been shouting
even then the silence will begin to sing
the noise too will cease
and we will know fully
just as we are fully known
then we will get what we deserve
and deserve what we get
silence needs no promoter
… silence speaks for itself
For those who wish to be active seekers of truth, understanding and who want to pursue the road to life there is a passage in the biblical text where it is said that the only way is to enter through the narrow gate. It continues to clarify this by saying that wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many walk this way.
To clarify the point further it goes on to state that the true path to life is diametrically the opposite – that the gateway to truth and enlightenment is small and the road that leads to life is narrow, and only a few find it.
We praise our present system of democracy that rallies the market place to mass together and let their collective voice be heard. We rally ourselves to actively participate in the democratic process to effect change, peace, stability, righteousness, fairness and truth.
I have often heard preachers and spiritual leaders proclaiming from their pulpits that it is the right thing to cast our vote and even that doing so is a duty of service to God and righteousness.
Could we possibly view our beloved democracy as a way to let the wide road speak?
Is this not what we are told democracy facilitates – that the opinion of the multitude be heard? … that the masses be heard? … that we, the people will govern ourselves, united, together, in peace and in harmony.
Maybe I’m missing the point here, but shouldn’t this be ringing a few alarm bells in our heads?
That infamous number “666” – that infamous character of dark, evil mystery – that infamous world system of suffering and subjugation.
Linked to the end times and specifically the destruction of all things- especially the good and the righteous, the upright and the holy.
Contemporary orthodox theology has made many assertions, declarations and published varied opinions on what this is all about. The Judeo-Christian biblical texts seem to suggest clearly that it is the number of a man. Some even believe this man will be killed and then come alive again, perhaps as a mimicking mockery of the Christ portrayed as having also been killed and then resurrected. It also suggests that it is the ultimate sign of the anti-Christ – the one who will blatantly oppose and set himself up against the God of heaven – declaring himself to be God.
There are many who feel that the mark of the beast is a serialized code that will be legislated to be imprinted or inserted on or into the foreheads and/or the palms of the hands of all the people of the earth and those who refuse this serialised encoding will be deemed illegal, not be able to trade, thereby excluded from the ‘common wealth’ – ensuring their destruction.
Many are waiting for an individual to present himself and seize global power and extract worship, honour, adoration and servitude from all under fear of death. People scan the horizons for a sign.
Many predictions of the end of the world have come and gone. And surely we can be confident that many more will follow.
And me, … what do I say about it all? … sorry, but I have no specific revelation to add to the pot at this stage as to who, when other than just this one nagging sense… I have to confess that whenever I hear or think of the times we live in and the end times or the “mark of the beast” these days I just cannot shrug off the thought of all those little crosses we place so excitedly, expectantly, dutifully even faithfully on little papers which are hopefully inserted into ballot boxes at polling stations from time to time.
You know, those boxes we so desire the whole world to have the privilege of access too, … that they too can join in to make their own mark of independence and sovereign self-determination…
don’t forget your heart and the promise that we are to be led by, and taught by the spirit – this was and is god’s idea – not any of ours
the ‘word’ is a person (even the text tells us this itself and again, this is one of god’s ideas, not ours) – even the ‘words’ we speak are not letters but a person, they are us, and we are far greater than the combination of signs and meaning the symbols appear to be
the biggest trap with the ascendancy of the written ‘word’ (textualization) is that it is politically worked out as language in a symbolic way (a set of signs) - deployed to attempt to try articulately convey the fundamental essence and practical nature of meaning through an agreed upon form of communication which in reality pre-dates even speech, possibly even thought itself
speech and literature are culturally defined, determined and interpreted and culture is an ever evolving thing as we know and meaning naturally shifts through and with time and changing context
this is a very scary thing and needs to be taken seriously as it has dire potential for those who are not all that fully aware as all too often unscrupulous individuals have wittingly or unwittingly used this process as a tool, a weapon even, to manipulate others for sometimes quite sinister motives
at other times even innocent, caring people have unwittingly become servants of a cultural groundswell of historical circumstance – religious institutions of all kinds are an obvious example of this
even our scriptural texts tell us to guard our hearts above all else, for it is the wellspring of life – this calls for great courage and an ever sensitive ear and eye for the leading of the spirit.
perhaps it is better to err on the cautious or at least practice great circumspection rather than to rush in where even angels would fear to tread
yes, most people are trying to be good, but good is clearly seldom if ever good
One of the things that impacts me greatly when I read the gospel accounts is the way Jesus dialogued with those around him. I use the word dialogue specifically here in contrast to the word monologue which is almost exclusively what we see and hear in our present religious settings.
What I see is that Jesus asked a lot of questions and engaged intimately and personally with people in many different ways that suggests to me that he was more than just interested in their individual world view but that he even respected it and asked them for clarity on their way of seeing things.
In the gospel of John he goes into quite some detail about the intent of God in his being there and what this was really all about. In it all there is rich evidence of what I see as God’s desire to engage with us as friends and not as slaves or even servants. To my mind there is far less emphasis on a heavy, top-down relationship where mankind needs to cower and tip-toe around an angry, hostile, difficult to please master. Instead I see a completely different picture, that of a great creator of all things, a supreme intelligence, wanting to enter in and explore a mutual relationship that is based on dialogue, friendship, agreement, even open and flexible negotiation.
What also stands out for me is that this was not as a result of any request on our side, prayerful or other. As far as I can make out there is no record of anyone asking God to make it easier or to relax with all the heavy commandments and tough expectations. Sure, some prophets lamented quite passionately from time to time but not a lot is recorded as saying, “Hey God, what’s your problem?” “Give us a break will you?” … “What’s with all these impossible demands?” “Cut us some slack here – we’re only human after all!” Instead it appears overwhelmingly so that God’s kindness and open handed acceptance is an entirely unprovoked initiative from God himself. In fact, even to this day there is more evidence to point to the fact that we still expect a bolt of burning sulphur like anger to descend on our heads at any moment … and this is what we tend to preach. Yet this kindness, acceptance, unmerited embracing, … it’s all God’s idea. Even salvation itself is penned as being for God’s sake, not exclusively ours.
Doesn’t that surprise you? It totally caught the religious intelligentsia in Jesus’ day with their pants down and even with our sense of present time revelation and the ‘new testament’ of unmerited grace and forgiveness I think it still catches us as well. I see this strange initiative of God as pointing quite convincingly to a desired relationship based on mutual respect and trust and as I said, this comes from God and not us. For me this is amazing. Talk about signs and wonders … this is BOTH!
And I don’t see God making a brazen demand for total conformity to a stronger, exacting, legalistically demanding, higher conduct but almost directly the opposite. To me it presents a picture of the almighty creator descending down to what is obviously a lower order of life specifically to engage and not even exclusively on what is a higher demanding standard, but almost a mutual interaction, a dialogue not a monologue. For me it’s sort of like, “Listen guys, we got a huge problem here, sure, but I have a solution … and here’s what I have done about it …” And if any changes are needing to be made it is God himself who makes it happen before we even know we could or should ask for it.
Equally strangely to me is that we seem to demand these ‘changes’ of ourselves and especially of others, it’s not God who makes these demands. I mean, the offer was made to us before we even knew we were in need and we were accepted while still unimaginably smelly so why after being accepted with such open handed embrace would there need to be changes made in order to be more accepted? Yet we expect people to conform to this kind of stuff. In fact we demand it. Stuff like – don’t do this, stop doing that, start doing that, start doing the other thing, think this way and not that way, etc. It looks to me like this solution we’ve been presented with in scripture is clearly a call for intimacy of a kind that is even in this so-called ‘enlightened’ day strikingly unusual.
“Terms and conditions apply!” – I hear this everyday in the media, but I struggle to see it in the sacred texts. Yet it is heard from the pulpit all the time and is transferred through social censure and religious internal politics. In fact, the way it reads to me is that if there are any terms and conditions they are met before we even know they are needing to be met. As a consequence it really impacts me severely just seeing and experiencing the hierarchical and formal nature of even the most so called ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ of modern church systems.
The way I understand it the offer is to all, even the most anti-whatever, including the worst of the worst. People who are so off, and I mean OFF! … WAY off – are freely accepted – totally embraced by this crazy, extravagant, generous, open hearted, open handed God. But with us, if someone has even a slightly different idea on what or who God is or even a slightly different way they do something, they are cut off and rejected, even publicly insulted and humiliated, muscled out to the peripheral courts of the untouchable heathens – those blemishes in the community, the black sheep of the flock.
I cannot help but conclude for myself that this could very easily suggest that we have possibly not ever really understood anything of the intent and practical outworking of Jesus’ words on the matter even though we brandish about the term “The Father’s Heart” with great abandon.
I wonder what might happen if the penny dropped one day?
waiting on God … hmmm? a very prominent meme amongst christians from what I can see
firstly, it’s very rich coming in a world of fast-food, instant gratification, personal short and long term insurance, re-insurance, quick-fix best sellers, disposable culture
just the thought of waiting on/for anything is revolutionary in our times
so what are we waiting for? …. for God to open doors?
I was asked this very sincerely recently - so it got me thinking
… and when we wait what are we waiting for?
is God late? reluctant? … holding out with punitive intent? … insisting that we first learn a lesson or two before he grants us our wish … our need …. our desire ….does God do this?
hang on, I thought it says that he makes it rain on the godly as well as the ungodly … so, nah, can’t be then? … can it?
hey! – maybe he’s waiting for us? … but if we are waiting for God and he’s waiting for us neither will get what they’re waiting for – in fact, this way no one gets anywhere … so it’s got to be one or the other, not both? … not so?
so, what does it say? … it says that God is at rest – that’s what it says
and what could this mean? is he tired? exhausted? needing a holiday?
but then again, maybe not …. maybe he’s satisfied? … like after a job well done … maybe even content, confident – maybe God’s at rest in the fact that what was begun in the beginning was indeed good, profoundly successful and very well balanced and well able, in it’s own good and perfect time and process to run its perfect course to a perfect end … ?
but for most of us to wait is a huge weight – especially in these times we live in
ok, so he’s resting, but does this mean he’s stopped? … now there’s a question!
it all was started in the beginning and it goes on, or so we are led to believe
we use words like eternity … a very short word for such a long time
… but then maybe time has nothing to do with eternity? … now there’s another long question
it’s often sung from the scriptures that waiting on God is good
but is it always good to wait?
well, maybe not always, but perhaps definitely in this day and age
why? - well to my mind we live in an artificial world – a world no longer in line with what it was meant to be – a make believe world of virtual reality masquerading as reality, in fact no, not only masquerading as reality, but actually replacing reality
we have made the world we live in and it’s a world of strenuous marketing strategies based almost exclusively on self-promotion
this is so anti the spirit, pattern and process of the universe we say we live in – even so anti the spirit of the Christ we claim to worship and follow as personal disciples (did the term ‘anti-christ’ come to mind? … hmmmm?)
I had a thought once that shook me to my bones – a simple thought really, but it changed almost everything for me …. it dawned on me that the creator as well as the creation does not plant trees, but instead, seeds are sown. … this is a revolutionary thought (if you can let the seed take root in your mind that is)
if anything is to surface, it will surface even if it has to break through tons of solid concrete
it may take time but it will surface
there are very few if any, sudden, quick fixes
trying to make things happen …. also, …. waiting for things to happen, both don’t work – it will happen, or it won’t …. and when it does it will not be a second earlier or later than is the perfect time, regardless of the circumstance or context – perhaps even if the context is our own misguidedness or even mindless foolishness … now there’s another thought
this is not fatalism but the reality of the order of our universe … and if there is no order … well then, nothing matters at all … which sadly, in this day of such enlightenment and technological advance is pretty much the way we live our lives mostly – no mind for the effects of cause nor the cause of effects – no understanding of time or space ahead or past …. only, nothing but me and mine
perhaps ‘waiting on God’ is simply the time it takes to finally allow ourselves to see the reality of who we are? … also the reality of what we are, where we are and what we are standing on … so that then we can respond appropriately
perhaps it’s the time it takes for us to come to a realisation of who or what God is? … for us?
and who or what we are … for God?
… that is who God is …
…. that who we are is what we are
…. that who we or God are is not what we’d like it to be, or wish it weren’t – which is just normal marketing and merely vain magic tricks to try perhaps stay the hand of the inevitable for a while (did you hear the word witchcraft?)
there is order out there as well as in here … so maybe waiting on God is the realisation that shouting louder only makes us deaf to the realities around us…
… that trying harder only increases the resistance …
… that giving up only prepares us for collision
but like God, we too can be at rest