In last Mondays Meditation I talked about How to Creatively Connect with God Part 1. I chatted about creativity, the Shema and Dualistic thinking. You can access the post here.
This post will look at how it becomes increasingly impossible to connect with others, ourselves or God when we are constantly running around the edge of the wheel instead of being centred in the middle.
We are a circumference people
We are a circumference people with little access to the centre (Rohr).
We live on the boundaries of our own lives
We are time poor, we have too many balls in the air and we spend our days running. We look at connection with God as out there, as another thing that we need to DO – to add to our busy schedule.
Instead we need to re-learn what our soul already knows,
we need to learn to BE to BE the presence of God.
Outside is what the ancients called the “Calculating Mind”
Black White – Dualistic Thinking
In HIM we dwell and live and have our being. Acts 17:28
We are with God.
God is with us
God is near us even in our mouth. Rom 10:8
We have an anointing and it dwells within us. 1 John 2:18-29
The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. Rom 8:11
Where God is there is:
- Fruit of the Spirit – Love, Joy etc…
- Peace – He is the Prince of Peace
- Inclusive Everything Belongs
On the Circumference there is a tendency for:
- Burn out
- Exclusivity and expelling systems
- Time poor
So how do we get to the centre.
Journey to the Centre
There are a few pathways to the centre:
A Major one – is to connect with our neighbour and oursleves.
3: Praise and Thanksgiving
- Suffering gets our attention
- Prayer and love get our passion and our hearts (Rohr)
- Praise shifts our perspective and is portal to the centre.
- God is found in all things – even in the painful and tragic things.
- Prayer is not words – it’s a stance, it’s a way of living in the presence. That’s why Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing.
- We are the presence of God because he dwells within us.
- Immanuel: God with us.
Practical Exercises: Paper and Pencils
Prayer: How might prayer – which is a way of living in the presence, help you see this new way?
1: Draw a circle
Around it name some of the examples of the circumferences of your life.
In what ways do they seem to take your attention away from the essential work of knowing God and knowing yourself.
2: Written Confession – Repentance – direct pathway to the centre.
Write out a prayer of confession that is less about your sin and more about the current reality of who you are…. at this moment.
Example: God I confess to you that I’m a mere human being.
I am overly influenced by fear and anxiety. I don’t discipline myself to get enough sleep. I am sometimes fickle and overly sensitive. I am forgetful and sometimes brash. I can be compassionate and selfish in the same day. Spiritual and unrealistic in the same hour. The bottom line is I need you. Living on the circumference all the time is utterly exhaustive
4: Praise Prayer :
Praise is a portal into the presence of God. Praise puts everything to the side and and puts the first thing first. God. We make Him the centre of our life when we praise Him. Focusing on God’s immensity, power, and magnificence changes the dynamic, the perspective and pulls us upward, opens our horizons, gives us hope.
Write a letter to God. In it write out a sentence for each praise point. Write out 10 sentances. Then record how you feel after you have spent time praising him.
Dear Lord, you are so incredible. I am amazed at your creativity. Just the colors that you use in a sunset are incredible. I am in awe of your beauty. ETC…….
5: Blessing: Connect with the other, with your neighbour.
Close your eyes.
Think of a friend. As you quiet your spirit form a prayer of thankfulness and encouragement for this person. Write it down and give it to them.
6: Craft a Blessing:( Taken from the Book Pray Like a Gourmet)
Try your hand at writing out a blessing for someone.
Make it rich with imagery and thankfulness.
Many or all of the lines could begin with: May….. or you may want to employ a couplet idea of: When …. so and so happens, may this happen.
Allow yourself time to craft a beautiful work of art.
It could be about that person themselves or about a situation that you know that they are in. Then post it or give it to them.
Suffering: The Road to the Centre
7: Lament Vent: Pain a pathway to the centre
It is very important for our mental health for us to allow ourselves to be sad. To allow our souls cry out and to mourn. Lament is a way to express our sorrow.
It allows us to say: Everything is not okay. Everything is not well. It gives rise to compassion and grace for situations that are out of our control.
Lament can be very personal.
Today lets lament on a global perspective.
I want you to think of the refugee crisis around the world today.
Put yourself in the shoes of your neighbour.
What would it be like to leave your country your home?
What would you take with you? How could you keep your family your children safe?
Lament your own personal deep feelings of grief or helplessness, insecurity or despair. Know that God understands every brush stroke of pain and frustration.
Write or draw a picture. Paint or write a poem or song.
6: Draw a Labyrinth to hold your Lament
- Get a coloured pencil and draw all over the page.
- Do this with several colours weaving a labyrinth on the page.
- Then in the gaps of the web write words that represent your lament.
This can be especially helpful if you are too overwhelmed to write sentences. In the gaps write out words that express your grief and lament.
Now at the bottom or around the edges write out a prayer. Then add a line of prayer for yourself to help you process these griefs and to regain hope.
This practice takes time to learn and may seem strange at first.
Set times in your week for controlled lament
Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr
Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution by Dianna Butler Bass
Pray Like a Gourmet by David Brazeel
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