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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Balance Between Our Will and God's Will
Let that morning light warm you all day long.
Strength in silence.
We are not perfect and that is just a natural fact. We will make mistakes. It is strongly suggested that you incorporate that truth into your moment by moment reality. It is liberating in two important ways. First it allows you to move forward allowing that you may fail at any given task, and that is OK. Second it allows you to look at your sister who has failed and not judge harshly. With this reality at heart we can endeavor to accomplish that which we were likely to fail at. Without it we are moribund and will develop the clay feet of indecision and worry.
So now we are faced with the ever present challenge of deciding to effect change or not interfering and allowing something to follow it's course without us. We could say that it is the question of whether or not we were intended to be a part of the flow of occurrences in any given situation. Not even an if but a when question. "when am I to prevent my child from falling and when am I to allow her to fall?" And notice that the concept of "you had to be there" is always relevant.
And perhaps most importantly we must feel the feel. Most good accomplishments are a good portion inspiration and a good portion perspiration. How you get the job done is your business in the sense of mechanics. How you get the job done is God's business in the attitude. Great mechanics and lousy attitude creates mayhem. Great attitude and lousy mechanics creates a mess. We suggest here that God's how in both areas creates success.
It could be said that the best advice in life is rather crude in it's bluntness. Shut up and listen. And many would think that this only applies to the voices coming from outside your head. Not so fast. Still the voices in your head also. Here is a funny concept coming from a preacher type guy: Take the reins and get it done. Take control and manipulate the outcome. Combine an outward and inward silence with a strong personal will to get it done and it shall get done. Take clear notice here that we are not suggesting anything in that silence. Silence is like the emptying of a cup with water. It will immediately fill back up with air. Nature abhors a vacuum. So if you let your self get out of the way in silence something will fill your cup. If your connection is with good, good will fill it up. Or you could say if your connection is with God and you make room, God will fill you up. And then God's will is your will.
Wow that worked out great! We end up right where we want to start. Is God's will your will?
Let us just call this a hymn. Listen for the good in it.
Take a walk down one of my country roads
There was a boy
For some reason our little boy at about 4 was in a Jesus Bible class. Really just a fun kindergarten love fest about Jesus. In his fifties now that is what the boy now man can remember about early Bible study. Happy pictures of Jesus hugging and talking to children. A Nativity story. And bits and pieces of the stuff Jesus said. Learning to say "I love you" as Jesus would have if He were me. Pretty colors and pretty clothes and singing and hand holding. Our happy pictures of good Christian notions on the walls. Starting each session with a round of "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so". And he never forgot the treats received for obeying the Golden Rule all class long. Let us not forget the wonderful teachers that smelled fresh and clean and smiled and spoke with calm happy joyous voices and could sing like angels.
Sorry folks for this boy there was no reading of the Old Testament. There was no ruler in the classroom with which to smack knuckles. And there were no musky black robed nuns that scorned disapproval at childlike antics. But a strange "curse" happened to our boy anyway.
For some reason our boy heard and learned: "Thy will not mine be done." A normally truly wonderful concept. A good way to lead a life in rational behavior. The curse was not in verse but in the boy's head. Somehow, someway the notion got perverted.Who knows why, psychologists would later have a field day with it. The boy got it in his head that the concept meant that his way was bad. Oops.
Through formative years this helped to push the boy to act in two competing fashions. Excel, in order to do better. And self destruct in order to fulfill his deeply felt notion of his own will. To the young man there were two ways to act, either in God's will or his own will. A short lifetime later it became clear to the man that he simply could not act in God's will for any substantial portion of his life. He, in fact would take back the reins and steer life's events into his own will.
Let us leave this man alone for a moment. Let us apply his thinking to our lives. Perhaps listen to a song and then pick up again.
Perhaps just a prayer.
It is our nature.
For some reason us crazy humans like to do "either or" deals. We like to think of ourselves as separate autonomous creatures. We like black and white and clear lines. We become offended when others, any kind of other, enter our space and lend to direct us from within. Hence, man normally thinks of "Thy will" as something different than "my will". Well what if it were not so?
This series of articles are entitled in part "Sermon". There is a method to that madness. No one wants to be preached to. Preaching seems to mean insisting that you feel a certain way. That is repugnant. Sermons are traditionally thought of as someone preaching God at you. If you are reading this, then you got past that. There is a crack into which new thought might flow. You have accepted the notion that you just might be able to incorporate into your you something new. These sermons are not intended to be author versus you. They are intended to be author and you. And God willing and the creek don't rise -- you and the author.
Yes this is going somewhere. And that somewhere is next.
Who knows what goes on inside his mind.
Not two but one.
So what would happen if this simple concept was given? Make God's will your will. Why the battle between God's will and our will? Instead of control we practice acceptance. No not mealy mouthed acceptance of all the wrong in the world. Acceptance of God into our hearts and minds. A true surrender of absolute control over our actions and thoughts. A sharing and a becoming as one. Not the kind of foo foo "I am one with", But a respectful partnership. Where important decisions are not made without complete consultation. Where there is an actual need for input. A desire for guidance and collaboration.
If the grand master teacher Jesus and I are getting this right, God is Love. If I put on the breastplate and helmet of love and I add into that mix the eyes and thoughts of love and then do my will what of that? You see I get to have my cake and eat it to. I am truly doing my will and that will is love. And God is love so I am doing God's will at the same time.
If I take "thy will be done not mine" and I view that in love then it comes out alright. "Mine" takes on the meaning of "alone". When I say that a thing is mine, I am saying it is all mine and mine alone. Just listen to a child. So in love when I say "Thy Will" I really mean our will. For it takes two to create a "Thy". A me to believe and a "Thy" to be. Not a me alone.
Please do not face your troubles and problems and decisions alone. Do all things in respectful partnership with love. There is a fun word, y'all. Go do y'all's will.