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I’ve been training for a Tough Mudder, coming up in a month. I’ll have more blogs about different aspects of this coming soon, but I wanted to share an insight I’ve gained during my training. And, thankfully, what I’ve discovered has had impact far beyond my morning workouts.
What I found is that if I start my training, and go through my mental preparation, trying to find out IF I can do it, I have a pretty tough time. But if I start off my training with the assurance that I CAN do it, and therefore, I am doing this because I can, my training is exponentially more harmonious, invigorating, and effective.
This has expanded out to this realization: if I start my day wondering what’s going to happen – am I going to feel better later, how is this appointment going to go – then I’m always waiting to see what the next minute brings and am unable to find a sense of success or peace because that peace depends on the future. But, if I start my day with the assurance of the PRESENCE of success, that I was made to be vibrant, healthy, capable, aware, then my day becomes the joyful living of that success which is already present. I remember a statement painted on our high school wrestling room wall: “We aren’t champions because we win. We win, because we are champions.” In other words, our identity is already established, and our lives can attest to the fact of who we are.
Now, in the normal course of my day, I’m not competing with anyone to try to ‘win’ my day. Rather, the ‘winning’ could be defined as breaking limits and persisting in living bravely and joyously. The same holds true for the Tough Mudder; in the Tough Mudder pledge, the first statement is, “I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.” And challenges – be they physical, mental, relationship, financial… – aren’t about some future finish line. They’re about persisting, right now, in seeing who you truly are.
Are we reactive people, basing our happiness, health, possibilities, on the circumstances around us or the whims of others? Or is it possible that we are actually the effect of the existence of LIFE itself – we are what happens because LIFE IS – and therefore our days are endless opportunities to see what YOUR unique expression is?
I’m not basing that possibility on some cheery hypothetical thought. It’s actually based in the Scriptural promise of Christ Jesus, when he declared that ‘the kingdom of God is within you.’ (Luke 17:21) This is only natural, considering the identity statement found in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image…” Man is not God – you are not some little deity running around – but, just like a photograph or a reflection in a mirror is the image of someone, so we are the image of God. In the Bible, Paul would share his understanding of this in these words: “…in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
Will we then turn to whatever circumstances surround the image, to find out anything about the truth of that image? Or will we turn to the Source to see what is possible for the image – the effect of that great Cause?
Will we follow the assurance of divine Love?
Recently, I’ve seen a lot of pictures and posts on Facebook alleging that shootings, bullying, or any number of tragic or thoughtless events are just what we get when we take God out of schools, workplaces, or government.
Do we have the power to put God in a school, or to take Him out? Does God depend on whether or not employers or politicians say the Lord’s Prayer, or on if they see the Ten Commandments every day? If so, this makes God a very conditional God indeed.
Now, if this does line up with your concept of God, I’m not here to try to change your mind. In fact, regardless of what you believe, I’d love to have a conversation with you (through the comments, or you can email me) about how and why you understand God the way you do. However, in this blog, and considering the prevalence of that particular conditional view, I’d like to share a bit of how I understand and love God.
What if God isn’t anthropomorphic? What if God is actual, divine, Life itself – is actually good itself?
I don’t see God as a polite man who backs away when someone doesn’t want to say the Lord’s Prayer. The redeeming, healing power of God’s love isn’t limited to folks who say or even know a particular passage from the Bible. Rather, God is divine Love itself.
God is not confined to specific letters or combinations of words. God is ever present – and a deeper and more lived and loved understanding of this always brings healing. Healing is the revealing of what God has already done. Why shouldn’t we give our consent to trusting and loving God more than we trust and love anything else? Why should we give our consent to believing that we could limit God – that, essentially, we are more powerful than God?
Here’s a story from a man who, even though he started off having no interest in God, experienced full healing from a variety of physical problems. Now he’s devoted his life to a public healing practice (as have I and thousands of others around the world).
As always, this blog isn’t meant to be the end of the conversation! Please share your thoughts and questions and let’s see what we can discover together.
Today, I’m feeling very grateful for the thoughtfulness of others.
Last Friday, we had dinner with some good friends, and then hung out at their house. It was of course really great to see these friends again, but I really appreciated some specific aspects of our time together.
Our friends told us they had been holding off on going to this restaurant because they know we really like it, and they were looking forward to going with my wife and I. I was so touched by this simple, thoughtful act of kindness. Was it a necessary thing? Well, I suppose that’s not really the point! Often, I realized, I let ‘necessary’ or other justifications get in the way of just simply being kind and letting my light shine. But light just shines! It doesn’t worry about how many clouds there are, or how many people will see it, or if it’s shining in a ‘useful’ place. Light’s simple nature is just to shine – to be the effect of the sun. I see more clearly now that it is my natural right and purpose to simply shine, as the expression of God, good – as we all are – and nothing can truly prevent us from that shining.
I love that, when we are more clear on the nature of our Source, God, then it is just so natural to know ourselves as well. And from there, we get to realize that nothing can stop us from being who we are: the whole, loved, loving, expressions of God. God, good, informs everything about us – our health, happiness, and security does not depend on changing circumstances, but on the simple fact of our identity as the effect of God.
I’m so grateful that these important, healing messages became clearer to me through this fun evening with friends! Every moment is an opportunity to learn more of God and God’s love.