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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Intimacy With The Whole

Updated on November 15, 2015

Very difficult climb

There has to be a way up this cliff face. I just have to find the right hand and toe holds. Truth be told, I took the long way around!
There has to be a way up this cliff face. I just have to find the right hand and toe holds. Truth be told, I took the long way around! | Source

You are whole yourself.

It is an interesting space we occupy. A sort of oneness with all that is. So how do we make it intimate?

If you believe in a God at any level then God’s vastness can and does become overwhelming. So we talk of having a personal relationship with God, to keep it real. But how does that really come about? It is all well and good to search for answers and to become knowing of one’s self. But that alone can become a burden. There almost has to be a way to connect with the vastness and yet not lose the personal. It is almost a dichotomy. The more we know ourselves the more we know others.

First let us get some stuff out of the way for the purpose of this sermon. Self. What a concept. Some dudes and dudettes get all hung up on self. They get overly freaky about the ego. This ship don’t sail that way. Ego is a part of us. Get over it. Getting rid of it would be like cutting off a hand. So when I say self I mean everything that makes us who we are as a distinct organism and soul. One million selfs in a given spot means one million independent, interdependent beings. This sermon means to get at connecting those selfs with the whole and yet remaining independent. An impossible task, or is it?

I know, I know it is a little goofy but I like it.

Just a Southwestern country boy in a huge Southeastern Asian city.

We are more the same than we are different.
We are more the same than we are different. | Source

A special uniqueness yet a togetherness

Here is a fun one. I am youngest of six siblings all within 10 years of each other. Easy for me to have gotten lost in the shuffle so to speak. But I was not. I was special, just like my five older siblings. How can that be we may ask? We are all made better by the whole and yet each special.

I was in my fifties when my mom passed away. At the getting ready for her memorial service I was talking about a very special ritual my mom and I shared. My eldest brother in his brutish way, snapped that she had done that with all of us children. All the way into my fifties I had thought that was special just to me and her. How funny that was to realize. And how cool that was of my mom. Somehow she made something just between us though she had repeated it with each of us. How much more so can God work such “miracles” with all of us children? You see the ritual was special just to us, and yet special to each of us as individual selfs.

Life is good. We can be a part of the whole of nourishment and yet retain our individualism. That includes our conscious contact with our God. A wonderful place to be. So do we do this by prayer? Do we do this by meditation? Do we do this by our actions? Do we do this with our feelings? Well I would not want to separate any of those except in contemplation and discussion. The Christians have a concept of praying unceasingly. If you really think about it, it means a constant conversation with God. I like it. Truthfully I do it, but not perfectly. And when I cease the dialogue, or monologue as in my case, then bad stuff goes on. I need the tether to the whole.

Seems like our differences can sweeten the pot or our togetherness.

One big happy family, yes I am different, but the same.

Farmers, computer geeks, a doctor and a lawyer and fantastic moms, kids and old folk.
Farmers, computer geeks, a doctor and a lawyer and fantastic moms, kids and old folk. | Source

Tethered yet seperate

Interestingly we are tethered not to a single point but the tether runs backwards. We are the anchor for us and diffusion is the other end. A self, tethered to the whole. Have no doubt energy along that line flows both ways. Indeed we can never look at ourselves and not say that “I am a part of that which is”. A fun thing about nature is that most people go out and enjoy it, but do not see themselves as a part of it. It is like, “man is bad and not natural”. The Native American cultures that I am close with have as a core concept the oneness of man and nature. It lends itself to a higher stewardship of nature. And that is where we should be, in a role of stewardship of both our self and the whole. Kind of cool if you look at it that way and get into your responsibilities to your self and the whole. At this point we can nurture ourselves and therefor at the same time be nurturing the whole and our God. Hey God needs love too!

So how do we really get the intimacy among the vastness of what is God?

We must be in contact to be intimate with any one or thing. What is intimacy anyhow? The word intimacy is kind of like the word love. You have to look at the context in which it is used to really discern a meaning. We use “intimacy” here for a reason. For some folks it first conjures up the idea of making love. But of course we do not mean that in a carnal sense here. We mean a relationship of closeness bound by love and a deep understanding of each other. For sure this intimacy is a two way street.

How about you?

Are you connected or alone?

See results

Let us find the intimacy

Interestingly we are tethered not to a single point but the tether runs backwards. We are the anchor for us and diffusion is the other end. A self, tethered to the whole. Have no doubt energy along that line flows both ways. Indeed we can never look at ourselves and not say that “I am a part of that which is”. A fun thing about nature is that most people go out and enjoy it, but do not see themselves as a part of it. It is like, “man is bad and not natural”. The Native American cultures that I am close with have as a core concept the oneness of man and nature. It lends itself to a higher stewardship of nature. And that is where we should be, in a role of stewardship of both our self and the whole. Kind of cool if you look at it that way and get into your responsibilities to your self and the whole. At this point we can nurture ourselves and therefor at the same time be nurturing the whole and our God. Hey God needs love too!

So how do we really get the intimacy among the vastness of what is God?

We must be in contact to be intimate with any one or thing. What is intimacy anyhow? The word intimacy is kind of like the word love. You have to look at the context in which it is used to really discern a meaning. We use “intimacy” here for a reason. For some folks it first conjures up the idea of making love. But of course we do not mean that in a carnal sense here. We mean a relationship of closeness bound by love and a deep understanding of each other. For sure this intimacy is a two way street.

Do I really care?

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.

If you want to read more by this fascinating author just go to google and type in “Eric’s Sunday Sermons”. Or you can look around here under my name Ericdierker. Yes these are on pinterest, Google plus and facebook. But remember once you read one the thoughts will stick in your mind and you will not be able to get them out, except through time. So there is a warning.

OK I admit it, I need more publicity. If you steal this content please let me know so I can make a big deal out of it and get some press time.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Carly I admit I became untethered yesterday, but only for a short while. My seemingly small mind that it was God's fault for just a moment. We are lucky if we keep the line open and use it.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 23 months ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Tethered is such a nice thought, a sense of belonging. A self tethered to a whole. But which whole? It seems to change as life goes on, but the one constant is God. It seems no matter how far I move away from God the tether still connects, and the distance is really in my mind, my space, not in God's. I really liked how you talk about it going both ways, like electricity. Remarkable words! Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann I remember that hub and that name of author. We have them here tucked away. My dad taught me that we were part of the landscape. Both in nature and what we choose to nurture. We are just perfectly made to make impact - be part of what is - and a good part.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 23 months ago from SW England

      I am tethered to my children, grandchildren and partner.

      Strange that you should come up with this one now - I've been reading a book, 'Landmarks', which talks about language being linked to landscape and therefore by definition humans being linked to landscape - being part of it and using the language that landscape generates. It's a great book - read it if you get the opportunity (mentioned in my hub on Accents), 'Landmarks' by Robert Macfarlane. Don't know if it's available in the US.

      Great sermon, Eric!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are so right Devika, it is a challenge. Thank you

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      To stay connected to oneself and to others is a great challenge to the new life

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're right Eric. You say it correctly. Thanks for clearing that up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dora,

      Personally I would not say it gets rid of self. It changes self for the better. I think we are stuck with self like a bad penny sometimes. But I get the drift of your meaning. It gets rid of self interest. It changes the focal point from self to the whole.

      I hope things are well for you taking care of family and that you are happy.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      "Closeness bound by love and a deep understanding of each other." That gets rid of self (not individuality), doesn't it? Thanks for the lessons you continue to teach.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana,

      I know people do bad things. But I also know that that part that keeps us connected is the good part of us. I don't think it is unusual to hear someone say of someone that has done very wrong, that they were disconnected. There is a reason for that. We must try to let God nurture that part of us that connects. Thank you for so often adding so much to our sermons.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Patricia,

      And one of the really cool things about those really closely connected, at least in my experience, death does not change it. It is one reason that I am so convinced in my faith. The connection is deeper than the flesh. The self changes yet remains for that part that is truly special. Thank you for our connection, it takes another.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you John,

      You really lay it out nice there. The concept of doing it remotely just reminds me that we can connect without even speaking, it is in the intent. And if two intend on connecting -- it shall be done.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Yes, we are all special and unique in our own way. Though we are all one there is something different that sets us all apart. We must not lose our distinctiveness that makes us all unique. The video- We are the world- Is a perfect addition to this hub. I forgot how much I love that song.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Eric

      Amen...with this you have made it so clear that we are truly 'the world'...the family of man, woman, child, animal, and all things nature all wrapped up and part and parcel of each other....excellent as usual...

      Angels once again are bringing blessings your way ps

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      You hit the nail on the head about connections here Eric. What a lot of people (especially in some of the forums) don't understand is that sense of friendship and connection you get here in the HP community. It can't be compared to Facebook and goes much deeper. I use Facebook to stay connected with family and old school friends but never share anything deeply personal there, like I do here. Yes we are "sharing our insides out" and many of us are not hear just to write.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Shanmarie, that is such a succinct and beautiful statement, thank you. I was one time getting all down on my ego. I was going to get rid of that dog. Somehow, somewhere I realized that old snarling dog was a part of me. So I have kept him around to kick at from time to time. It helps make me who I am. My mom loved antiques, she said the nicks in them gave them character - amen to that.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jodah, a funny thing hit me about connections after Bill commented. We connect here. I know I know it is online but it is not like facebook in it's generic. We are not showing and telling we are sharing our insides out as we write and comment. What comes out here is meant to go inside someone else. I hope that when I speak with family I can have a good intent of what comes out and goes into them. Thanks for coming by friend.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 2 years ago

      It fits with my thoughts lately. I hate my own weaknesses sometimes, but I also know that they are lart of what makes my strengths work.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Another very relevant and special Sunday Sermon Eric. Connection with family and God is especially important to live a happy, full and productive life. Sounds like your mother was a very wise woman, then again most mothers are aren't they. I lost mine almost 11 years ago, but she instilled a lot of lessons in me that I have passed down to my children and grandchildren. Thanks for another great lesson.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Shanmarie, I promise you it does ring true. Even that relationship with ourselves. Varied and diffuse at times but together never the less. Thank you for coming by on this Sunday.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, there are so many things that I think my mom taught me that have not even dawned on me yet. She was a great "eye squinter". She would look at something and blur it by squinting her eyes and say "now I can also imagine how beautiful it is". Each part of a family certainly has their place and it even changes from time to time. What a great world!

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 2 years ago

      Eric, I love this message, especially the part about your mother. What a fantastic way to illustrate your point! I would like to think this message rings true in all relationships, not just with God.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Your mother was so gracious with her time. ( Making birthdays special for each child. ) I try to stay connected It is so important. In church this morning the minister's message was ' childlike, not childish ' He spoke of a child's mind and how we lose the wonder of nature as adults and when he said that I thought of Christmas as a child, how the lights were so beautiful, now they are just decorations. I hope I will think more like a child again. Your message was a pleasure to read. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, as Seuss might have it said "I don't like it one little bit". I am not in the mood really, kind of lazy on a rainy Sunday, but I will get my boy and I out to a place where people want to see others in reverence. I refuse to go down that isolation road. It is a loser.

      Funny but with that said, it is all cool, different strokes for different folks.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Venkatachari, your peacefulness comes across as clear as a bell. It is a pleasure that you share that with us.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It seems to me, but what do I really know, that there is an increasing trend towards disconnection...many are disconnected from God, from other people and from themselves. Intimacy is fading in our society..we don't take the time, or the effort, to reach out and touch someone.

      But like I said, what the hell do I really know? :)

      Happy Sunday buddy!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wonderful sermon, as always. I like the style in which you preach all these sermons, in so simple a language that anyone can understand, if s/he wants to. So nice of you creating awareness continuously.

      I enjoy the intimacy with nature and God and also feel myself a part of all it. It gives me much joy, bliss and satisfaction.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Reynold, we are celebrating out here in the California Desert, more rain.

      We get that line opened up and we find all kind of miraculous stuff on. Like any good relationship communication is a key

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well Mel, I think we were more akin to a combo of the Beverly Hillbillys and My Three Sons -- but what does a man know of his family of origin anyhow? Too shaded by the lens of youth.

      Mel one of the greatest gifts that is given is a five year old to his father. They remind us and look with marvel of the things we start taking for granted. Thank you for travelling down this meandering path this morning.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Eric--Yes constant communication with God is important well done. Be connected.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Theresa, thank you.

      What you just wrote reminds me that with my wife we have long periods of silence that are never awkward, but very comfortable. It is nice to make time to listen with our "hearts" instead of just with our ears.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I had no idea you grew up as part of the Brady Bunch. Your sisters Marcia, Jan and Cindy must have been difficult to deal with at times. Your Mother sounds like a great lady, must have been to instill you with the sensitivity and creativity with which you write these words. You are absolutely right about stewardship; the downfall of modern civilization is that we have completely disconnected ourselves from nature. We need to look down and notice the bugs on the grass, look up and notice the birds on the trees, and realize they are not that much different from us. Wonderful hub!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Happy Sunday Morning, Dear Eric,

      Wow, you have been busy publishing up a storm and so I have some reading to catch up on!

      This is one of my favorite subjects ...intimacy with God. I, too, pray without ceasing for as you state so well, I am in constant communication with God. To be in an intimate relationship, it must be two-way of course.

      I mostly praise Him for all He is and bless Him. I can't imagine going through this life any other way. I'm so happy He knows me ... Jesus knows me, this I love.

      As far back as I can remember as a child, I have always felt so close to God through nature. He is all around no doubt and sometimes we don't have to actually speak words to know He is there and we are communing. How lovely and miraculous is that!

      Thank you for this special Sermon this beautiful Sunday.

      Peace and blessings always,

      Theresa