Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Outside Inside, Inside Outside?
Reboot of Soul
Once again we wrote an outstanding sermon for today. Once again it will not be published. So I began to look for possible reasons this maybe occurring. I looked hard with my intellect and somehow it still escaped me. I reviewed the rejected sermons and they were well written with a reasonable message. It had all the stuff needed.
So why was I so consistently missing the mark. Missing the mark for me, in a sermon, means it lacks the proper amount of feelings. It lacks a certain expression of love.
Actually I as I read them something became clear. They could be fine articles but not fine sermons. So then I began with the why. Not why were they not good sermons, but rather why did I write them that way and yet on Sunday I wrote them properly. Clearly the answer lay somewhere inside of me.
Now the above is pretty dry stuff. But that is OK, it is normal for me for a sermon. It is good for us to be on the same page to begin with. Kind of an agreement between you and I on matters of things like definitions used in context and the angle that might raise an interest, or the reason for the article. Perhaps we get to start doing some self-review together.
It appears to me also that we need the we. A synergistic “community”, maybe we could call it a congregation. This may explain it better; If when I write I think or feel more about my readers, then in fact my readers are a part of the sermon. Works for me. Even though it raises some questions about a kind of codependency. But my answer to that is usually “so what”.
Back to the title “Outside Inside, Inside Outside?” In this case there are blurred lines between coming from me, or coming from the outside which can sometimes be a distinction without a difference. No doubt about it that our feelings should not be dictated by outside, external stimuli. But note that we use the term “dictated” and not “influenced by”.
Kind of cool if you think about it for a moment. Or like me, way too much ;-) But I enjoy that because I can come up with questions we can answer together. Although in fact before we even start we already know the grand answer which is our all humanity lovefest.
Out of This World
First Order of Business
Let us just say without raising flags that I worked with and sometimes for a communist country. No secret and yes some secrets. The idea in about 1998 was to bring the internet and especially marketing thereby into the country. How does a closed economic economy allow the free speech of the internet? And how does it prevent usurpation by bad influences. About half of our “countries” consider the internet to be a national resource, basically owned by government. And they should.
So the daunting task was to strike a balance of enterprise with control. So cool. I did not delve into economic books or political science books or international trade books, though those had to be known and understood. Falling asleep with a text on my chest and a bad neck was a luxury. You see, in global trade the clock does not go to sleep at night. It simply shifts “good morning” from “good night”. Really cool if you are up to it.
I got to meet professors to politicians, on the street folks at Internet café’s and folks in board rooms. Wow. 6 months here and 6 months out there or close. Tokyo to Melborne to Cebu to Surabayo. San Fran and back to Hong Kong. They all had made a similar mistake. They went inside to outside and outside to inside first. When was that dot.Com bubble burst?
So sitting in a temple place in Angkor Wat it hit me. You have to do the inside to inside first. Teach and market there first. And steps must be taken, not to swallow everything in one gulp. Crazy but this was from spiritual not business. And it took off like a rocket ship. Who could disagree, especially in a communist Buddhist country? Back to those crazies mentioned above and we were in like Flint.
But we needed one more push. This country had no private marketing firms at all. What to do there. The government met with me and I held up for days in hotels in the capital. For a communist country this worked well. Marketing is Education, and Education is Marketing. They still use it a decade and a half later.
The point of such a story is to make clear that inside to inside must be first. We cannot allow outside in or go all outside until in our hearts and souls we are good inside to inside. Are you?
Now This is Beautiful and Touches Inside
The Sweet Spot
When I wake up in the morning I basically go all outside to inside. I read spiritual, I pray spiritual and I meditate spiritual. And that is fine, as it is like getting the “news” in the morning and synthesizing it. But then I need a gut check. Eric asks Eric how Eric is doing as Eric. Some good Eric to Eric, inside to inside. If I do not folks around me will suffer my wrath. I am a wordsmith and unchecked by my inside to iniside I go all ballistic to the outside – and that is not pretty. Korea can’t fix their inside so they want to bomb the outside. From what I read, it is the same with Iran, don’t really know.
We are blessed with such an opportunity to do the “inside job” it is heavenly. Looking and feeling inside to inside is such a blessing. But we must Carpe Diem every day. I am one of those funny guys who cries. I have walked into a church and started crying without a word. You just can palpably feel the love. It oozes from the outside to the inside. But, you say.
Can the outside have a positive effect or negative effect on the inside? Absolutely but it depends on the goodness or lack thereof or our inside. A slap on the face can be seen as an attack, or we can be relieved that the slapper vented on us who are safe to vent on. Our choice and not the slapper’s.
I love praying but I really love praying when my insides are right. One could say that the insides are your lantern. If your lantern shines a light for others, good on ‘ya. If it only casts shadows your inside needs work.
Some fancy pantsy shrinks will say that “you must learn to love yourself”. I suggest if you love it does not matter inside to outside, outside to inside or just inside. (outside to outside is too much to cover here here but you can imagine influencing one and them passing it forward)
My wife seems to bring the outside into our home too often. I quickly ask her questions of her day. In no time that outside is registered in our inside and ugly dissipates we are the black hole. If I just ignore or get angry with such negative influence we allow the negative in. “Damn it, my home will be happy or else!” Nope, I need to validate her and engulf her with our love. The world has conflict we have love.
Well I can imagine that made no sense to some. My bad. Perhaps you could take your insides and read it again. Love to all of you.