The Roar

A friend of Mine on facebook posted this, and I love it,

“spirituality is rebellion; religiousness is orthodoxy. spirituality is individuality; religiousness is just remaining part of the crowd psychology. religiousness keeps you a sheep; spirituality is a lion’s roar.”

God. Good. Evil. Light. Dark. Origin. Life.  Meaning. Death. Heaven. Hell.

How much time do we spend refusing to contemplate these ideas, or believing we are contemplating them through some kind of actions or methods?  We all have our beliefs about it, often decided out of convenience, I might add.  Some believe, some don’t.  Almost always though, whatever we do is based off what we find palatable, and almost everyone has some practice that helps them mark a box on a checklist. 

However, I find true spirituality a rarity.  It is a natural part of us that rumbles down in there, like lava under the Earth’s Core.  It should spew out on its own, but instead we cap it, and decide to let it out when it looks like the thing we think it should.  We becomes apes, and start to mimic someone with faith, without actually knowing what faith feels like in our own stirring bones.

I’m a Christian, meaning I believe there is one God, who sent his son, Jesus, to deliver a race made in His image…mankind.  I believe in worshiping him, and experiencing him, as directed in the Bible.  However, lately I’ve realized that worship is not a practice.  It is not an acquired habit.  It’s just experiencing God through the vessels in which he reveals himself to you.  If we aren’t all the same, why would we expect our attitudes of prayer would be? 

Often times, church is the only place we’re expected to act as everyone else instead of the individuals we are.  I don’t care if it is a traditional Church, doting beloved hymns, or a charismatic room of shouters.  People tend to look to each other for advice on how to worship instead of to the creator, who is in them already.  I would say every prayer experience is unique; that like a snowflake, no two are alike.  However, instead of being those snow flakes, we tend to get lost in rules and regulations that have nothing to do with actually learning our maker.  We tend to have group relationships with God, but not so much personal.

When I read the quote today, that sparked all of this, one thing gripped me most, “spirituality is a lion’s roar.”  That is the answer.  Spirituality, a sense of merging beings, with something so far higher than we are will make tantric look like child’s play.  When true spirituality exists, we can break religious molds, destroy legalism, and laugh in the face of the laws that bind us.  We will be free in a new sense that is so wild it will keep us from making other mischief.  We won’t need it. Spirituality will become our religion, but an involuntary one, completely out of our comfort zones.  This small quote dropped but a taste onto my tongue, and already, my mind is on fire.  I feel like I’m feeling a little more God today, and it feels great.  And I’m not even feeling it on purpose…it’s completely out of character.  I’m starting to hear what a roaring lion really sounds like, and it wasn’t what I thought I’d heard with my feeble human ears.  This roar doesn’t awaken man…it awakens the spirit.  It is the roar of the spirit..the only roar that seems real anymore.

 

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A Look at the Low Times

     A lot of people are of the mind that the universe is a balance of good and evil…for every light there is dark.  A lot of religions champion this idea as well.  Zoroastrianism, which came about slightly before the birth of Jesus bases its entire doctrine on this idea alone; we are simply the matter caught between two opposing strengths that we have no control over.  Sometimes it feels, and appears very much that way.

     I agree with this to a small, yet differing degree. I’ve pondered this many times in life, and some things said in Church this morning made me re-visit it again today. As a Christian, I believe in the existence of good and evil, but not necessarily in the balance of these things.  I certainly don’t believe that for every single light there is dark, because I’ve read the end of the story and know that light wins.   With this being said, I sometimes ponder why we have the darkness at all. I realize that God wants us to understand the purity of love, and love him by our own freewill, and that in order to do that we must have the choice to disobey…and that in itself is sin, which is evil.  I understand the reasoning…but once we’ve chosen God, why all the trials?

   I’ve come to the realization that sometimes its the trials that make us move.  It is in the winter that we yearn most for summer.  Sometimes we can get caught up basking in the warmth and forget the ones left somewhere the light never touches, a place we’ve been so log ago.  When we have those dips in life when we cannot fathom why such terrible times have come our way even though we feel we’ve done everything right,  its hard to understand why.  When I go through these times, I comfort myself with the typical thought process…”this is in God’s will,” “everything happens for a reason,” and so on.  Even though I know there is truth in those things, just believing it alone gets stale. It becomes common to us.  It starts becoming a broken record, but when I stop, every once in a brilliant blue moon and actually evaluate the situation, good has ultimately come out of every low point of my life.  It’s never been easy, rarely been an immediate turn around, but has always made sense somewhere along the way.  Almost every time I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone its felt like being plucked off a warm beach and sat half naked on an iceberg. However, it always makes me appreciate that warm beach and beg to get back.  It makes me have to do something to get there, something I thought I could not do until I look back and I’ve done it.

    I don’t believe in the “balance” of light and dark.  I simply believe the dark can show us what we’re made of when we prevail over it.  It’s there to teach us about our own strength, to prove to us we can triumph over opposition, and remind us how sweet the sun is…and how sweet the son is.  We aren’t a conglomerate of atoms tight-rope walking between negative and positive energy.  We are something made out of divinity, tried by our very flesh, but with a destiny to become warriors.  A warrior doesn’t know his strength if he’s never seen battle.

     I hope the next time I have a trial in my life I can remember this, and I move.  I pray I don’t wallow and wail, but I fight with the sword I was handed, knowing the seasons that lie ahead of me.  I hope I take others with me, and somehow know that the evil in the world doesn’t have to be something I balance myself with…not something I have to fight, but something I’ve proven I can slay.  I have to remember that every year Spring follows winter, and even the coldest January has purpose.  We fight that winter for the sake of Spring, and the sakes of those who’ve never known a true Spring in life.

  I just have to remember I am part of that story, unchanging like the seasons…the one with a happy ending, and it cannot be re-written. 

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21

The Unbreakable

     This one was a strange Christmas…it came and went more quickly than the others.  People often say age is to blame for the sudden acceleration of time, which is probably true, but not the reason this time.  This year there was a sort of climate shift going on around me.  For once my life wasn’t changing…my husband and I weren’t in the process of moving or changing jobs, or fighting our way out of some sort of chaos like years past.  It was just everyone around us.  There’s been divorce, sickness, death…all the biggies.  There were new faces appearing, and old faces missing everywhere I turned.  I found parts of my traditions scrambled around and torn apart, as if some sinister holiday tornado came through to tease me, leaving just enough reminisces of yesteryear to torture me.  I found myself sifting through the debris as quickly as I could, praying for December 26th to come. I should have focused more on the reason for the season, and the true meaning of Christmas instead of fleeing the day in search of my past, but I didn’t.  Hine sight’s 20/20 as always. 

     However, if I hadn’t been sulking at the end of the night I would have missed out on having my husband comfort me, which is one of the sweetest feelings in the world.  I unplugged the Christmas tree and curled up next to him on the couch.  He put his arms around me and told me it is enough that I’m his…and that got me thinking.  Time will march on…viciously and unmercifully march on, and it will take many traditions with it.  Things will happen.  There will be surroundings I can’t control.  It’s inevitable…and I won’t be able to turn back time or force those around me to change.  That’s why my husband and my God will remain my tradition. I will always belong to them, and it’s enough. I will do my best not to ever resent Christmas again the way I did yesterday…that wasn’t what Jesus wanted for his birthday from me, but that was the gift I brought.  I let the outside forces harden my heart a little yesterday, and today I’m choosing to let it go.

     One other thing sticks out in my mind from yesterday.  In the madness, besides my husband, one other constant remained.  My father got me a beautiful antique book of 19th century British poetry from an estate sale, and a charming pen box with an Ernest Hemingway quote on it.  It read, “The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.”  This gift in particular made me feel so good, because my father saw me in this quote…he sees me as a writer.  My mind reeled other gifts I’ve gotten through the years from people: an early publication of Lorna Doone, an orginal print book of Robert Frost poems, various kinds of journals and notebooks….I’ve always been a writer…I was born with a pen in my heart before I could hold one in my hand…a gift I thank God for giving me.  There’s a tradition no one can take.  So, I am going to keep writing my way through everything.  I will keep a pen in one hand, and my husband’s hand in the other, while I let Jesus keep his hand on me.  Those are the things that stick, and the traditions that don’t break are the only one’s that matter in the end.  There are some things too strong for this world to tear apart or take away, and I know exactly what they are  now.  Maybe I had a Christmas miracle…realizing what’s unbreakable in my life, and knowing which traditions will stand the test of time.  As long as I keep writing and keep loving I will be okay.  Madness may brush me again, but if I return to those things, they will carry me home every single time.  These things aren’t the reminiscences left to tease me afterall; they were the one’s that stayed behind to claim me…the unbreakable.