Its has taken me almost three years to take this step to make public parts of my own spiritual journey and invite an open sourced conversation with all of you. My guess is that you really are out there and that there are many of you, just like me, who would like to – talk. Our world is changing so fast and so much seems confusing and contradictory. We need to hear each other so we can round out our perceptions – check our evaluations and know, as C.S. Lewis said concerning reading, that we are not alone. It would be lovely to take a beautiful walk along the ocean, in the woods or climb a mountain with you, and then sit awhile to enjoy the beauty while we share a picnic meal and speak our hearts to each other. However, there will be only a few friends within reach to make that happen. Therefore, it is my wish that this blog would be our hike together and these ideas, and expressions act as our shared meal, wherever you are in the world.
I titled this blog ‘Spiritual Favors’ – which I had not thought very much about in my 40 years as a Christian until July 12, 2009 when I received one. I think the most beautiful thing about a spiritual favor from God is that it is exactly that…a favor. You can’t earn it, or formulate a way to get another, or perform well enough to deserve it or teach someone else how to receive one. It is simply an unmerited grace that is given by God, which, if we look at biblical and historical annotations of such favors, seems to always serve to deepen one’s experience and revelation of God’s love for us and thus, break down resistances to intimacy with Him. I have kept a journal these past 14 months. It records most of the changes in my life since that day in 2009 which have taken place as a result of one thing; experiencing a dramatic increase in awareness of the God’s love for me. This seems to be the third installment of a lesson God has been trying to teach me since 1971 (perhaps, I am just a very slow learner).
At that time (1971) my life was a living hell. I was a new believer in Jesus because the relational situation in which I was trapped (my own doing, by the way) became the major catalyst in shifting the sands of my life in such a way that I began to search after God in order to survive. I was immediately built up in the Word of God concerning His profound love for me. I responded by wanting to do whatever I could to express my love for Him. It was clear to me that showing God’s unconditional love within the relational prison I was enslaved would be exactly what would please God. This would mean offering the grace of forgiveness and releasing all ‘pay back’ or ‘revenge’ vouchers I was holding for the deception, abuse, neglect and alienation I had experienced in the relationship. I also perceived something else submerged beneath the totally rational, cause-and-effect conscience mind. I guess you might say that I sensed the extraordinary-beyond this universe- power of that kind of love. It really could change an entire world, I was sure. However, something crucial was missing in this equation. No matter how much I flagellated my soul for being too weak to give up my bitterness and subsequently, pumped my mind with scriptures which told me I could… I could not. My failure assured the fact that nothing would change in that relationship for seven years – at which time, I finally left it.
I am a theatre director/performer and need to conduct a rehearsal for a up-coming tour in a few minutes. Therefore, I’ll need to continue with installment 2 and the Indians of the Ecuadorean rain forest on the next blog. Talk to you soon.