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Seeking Mystery

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We’re taking the mystery out of our lives, faith, and the Church.

Separation from definitions is most unlikely in life. Most would say that everything is either black or white. The grey areas can be a little taboo or uncertain. If you are anything like me, you are looking and hoping for some solid ground under your feet. It seems as though we do our best to set up borders & rules to protect our way of faith, but what we’re possibly doing is robbing our lives a full dimensioned journey. With mystery comes great wonder and beauty. Seeking mystery isn’t normal for many of us, but it will give us new life.

I’m finding that life can’t always be black and white, cut and dry. As much as we would like for it to be, sometime it just isn’t. A black and white world is created by man. The Creator breathed color into life. WE define the black and white. We may use our moral code and what we have learned from the Scriptures to form it, but it is still our formation. If we are setting up the black and white perimeters, what do we need God for? If we are depending on our own accepted definitions of right and wrong, we have no need of God and grace. Scripture says that hope in what is seen, is not real hope (Rom. 8:24). Lines might need to be blurred in order for us to actually sense God clearly. God is bigger than our boundaries and definitions.

 

“Shades of grey wherever I go. The more I find out the less that I know. Black and white is how it should be. But shades of grey are the colors I see.” – Billy Joel

“Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.” – Louis Aragon

 

Let’s be honest. Moments in time like now in #Ferguson, MO have unknown, confusion, brokenness all over it. We may claim we know what is going on, but we don’t. I’m not trying to get us off topic, but attempting to broaden perspective of mystery. Like now. A faith that can say “I don’t understand why all of this is happening, but… surely God is still God and we are simply not gods”.

Continuing…

In our efforts to control portions of life, we can possibly miss the multiple opportunities our days present to rest in the mystery of the unknown. That sounds difficult though, right? Well, it is. However, there is a level of peace that does surpass our understanding when we let go of our certainty and embrace mystery in almost every situation.

So, what about those of us who are drawn to the unknown mysteries of our world, faith, and Creator? Is there no place for us in the Church? Is it only for the pragmatist?

I haven’t seen many big life change happen in safe controlled, calculated environments. I believe that “magic” that happens in the uncontrolled, unexplained place of faith and mystery. Though it takes intentionality and the willingness to have that unsettled feeling in your stomach, there is so much more that we can glean from this landscape of faith in the mysteries of life. I believe the status quo only leads towards being comfortably complacent… and mystery and questions will always lead towards faith.

 

 

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I am present

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To be present (heart, soul, mind… attentive) is more of a struggle than we will ever truly admit.  Adsum: Latin for “I am present” or “I arrive”.

 

This morning I read the following from Richard Rohr.

“By some wondrous “coincidence,” the mystical gaze happens whenever our heart space, our mind space, and our body awareness are all simultaneously open and nonresistant. I like to call it pure presence. It is experienced as a moment of deep inner connection, and it always pulls you, intensely satisfied, into the naked and undefended now, which can involve both profound joy and profound sadness, and often at the same time. At that point, you want to write poetry, pray, or be utterly silent.

I call contemplation “full-access knowing”—not irrational, but pre-rational, rational, and trans-rational all at once. Contemplation refuses to be reductionistic. Contemplation is an exercise in keeping your heart and mind spaces open long enough for the mind to see other hidden material. It is content with the naked now and waits for futures given by God and grace. As such, a certain amount of love for an object and for myself must precede any full knowing of it. As the Dalai Lama says so insightfully, “A change of heart is always a change of mind.” You could say the reverse as well—a change of mind is also a change of heart. Eventually they both must change for us to see properly.”

 

There is an escalating problem with our society. Our patience with one another is at an all time low, while our entitlement (me first), hustle, and busyness is at an all time high. This is unsustainable. What happens when we snap, crackle, or pop?

It would be in our best interests to find some new rhythms. Rhythms of patience, mercy, compassion, and kindness. Spiritual contemplation, meditation, and prayer can be the most centering disciplines-exercises we can do.

Attempt to take FIVE minutes today (and each day) and say “adsum”.  “I am present”. Breathe, exhale, and be still. The presence you find just may be more than your own.

 

 

 

 

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Beloved

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“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present … Read More →

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Peacemaking

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Our glance at one another can be more tender, sensitive, and caring. “We kind to one another, for we are all fighting a great battle”; most say this comes from … Read More →

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Restorative Art isn’t safe

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We label our art too often. That only limits it’s reach, inspiration, and accessibility. Even-though I’ve been creating and performing art within the Church for over 20 years now, I … Read More →

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Why I work to instrumental music

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We have a constant barrage of sonic and visual stimuli competing for our attention. It can all be intensified once we sit down to work. Once we enter the virtual … Read More →

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