A spiritual exercise – a story

I am in the process of writing a story. I thought I would share that process because I think it is a great spiritual exercise for anyone. It is a takeoff on the expression, “What would Jesus do?”.

In my version two people are newly arrived directly from heaven. They are not angels, they come fully in the body; so they are fully human. But also newly arrived from heaven, remembering who they are and where they came from. So fully divine also, just as their brother Jesus was/is. Now this starts raising all sorts of questions that I and then you can think through. But we have to stick within certain conditions. There are two, male and female. One of the things that privately bugs me about Jesus is that He didn’t give a personal example of how to be a married couple. If Jesus had had a wife, what would she be like? Talk about a power couple! Jesus is often tied to Adam, and yet Adam had a wife, but not just a wife, a mate, one mate specifically made for him. Actually they were made for each other. So how do they interact? With great love obviously, but what does that look like as fully human persons?

So I am going to write out a small scene, walking through Rome, how does it go with two people who are made for each other? If they come from heaven as adults, what age? If in heaven they do not have bodies, what was their relationship like? Obviously it could not have been sexual, now they have bodies for the first time, they have hormones, and they look gorgeous. How do other people react to these two people who are gorgeous and in some ways unaware. They are new to bodies, new to the earth, they have seen it, studied it, heard about it, been given lessons; but it is all new. Do they know what love is? Do they know they were made for each other? And yes they are  made for each other. This is a love story. And we might think that they look at no others, they are beautiful, but beauty comes in many packages and beauty can be both seen and unseen. Imagine, they walk into a casino in Monte Carlo, like in the Bond movies, everyone could assume they are stars and both women and men might start thinking, “Oh I want that one!”.  How does everyone in that scene react? How naive are Adam and Eve? Can they be swayed, enticed? Is this a prodigal son story where they fall first? No, I don’t want a love story to go there. But perhaps you would, write it out.

Names, they need names. Any suggestions?  A new Adam and a new Eve, but is that too obvious? I like Miriam for the woman, but for the man, Joseph? Joshua? Ralph? I like Daniel, but that’s my name and seems a bit pretentious.  On the other hand should we give these people our own names? The point of a spiritual exercise is really not “What would Jesus do?”, it is to put ourselves in the scene and ask what would I do? Or perhaps to reprogram my own thinking and come to the conclusion this is what I would like to do in that situation.

Got it? I have already given one scenario. They walk in the casino at Monte Carlo. They look magnificent, long evening dress, immaculate tuxedo. Everybody looks, does anyone see them for what they really are? Remember some did recognize Jesus. How did they get there? Where did the money come from? Do they have unlimited resources from their Father? What challenges do they face? Overcome?

In heaven do they have challenges? Are they faced with being brave, courageous, hopeful while in heaven? If someone is rude, or even physically challenging, threatening them with rape, robbery, murder; what do they do? That doesn’t happen in heaven.

If they have “remembrance of all things”, if they are children of God, what can they do or not do? Can they download max martial art skills like in the Matrix, or do they simply have super powers and call down lightning? Do bullets bounce off them? Is that too unlike us? I can’t call down lightning so is it any longer an exercise in what I want to be like? Or am I underestimating the spiritual powers that I as human can have. Did Jesus, heal the sick, make the lame to walk, raise the dead? Did He say all that I have done ye can do also? Did He mean that literally or metaphorically?

So you see there is a lot to play with here.  What story would you make up?

Take any situation from every day life, write it out. Two people newly arrived form heaven, how do they act? Fully human, fully divine?

Oh, another scene:

They are in Rome, walking down  a street, and get confronted by a gang of Islamic youths. Often these days in Europe, this does happen. Unfortunately it sometimes does not end well. The man gets beaten , the woman raped, the authorities ignore it all. What would happen to Adam and Eve? How would they deal with the situation? What would be the will of their Father?

Let me know what you think would happen?

Why is short term memory loss for athletes like forgiveness?

Have you ever heard that great athletes have to have short term memory loss? Do you understand why this is essential for them?

Pitcher: The last pitch I threw was hit for a home run. I can’t throw like that again.
Quarterback: My last pass was intercepted. I can’t throw another one like that.
Batter: I have struck out the last two times I was up, Can’t do that again.
Tennis player: OMG please don’t let me double fault again.

Pick a sport, any sport; if you screwed up just seconds ago, if you are thinking in anyway shape or form of screwing up again you most likely will; especially if you are afraid of doing it again. You will get tense, start thinking and interfering with the muscle memory, because truth is you know how to do this, you’ve done it thousands of times before. What you need right now is to forget about what happened. Let it go!

How is that like forgiveness?

I screwed up my last relationship, don’t screw this one up.
I screwed up my last job interview, don’t screw this one up.
I really was an idiot with my son, my wife, my husband, my daughter …

There are a lot of human endeavors that are exactly like the situations athletes face, that if you go on thinking of what you did wrong, you impair your ability to function at a high level of expertise. You can’t be a great human being.

So just cast off your guilt. If only it was that easy, well actually it is but people seem to refuse to do it the easy way.

What are the ways to cast off guilt?
This all started pretty early. Eve says, “It was the snake’s fault, not me”. Adam says, “the woman made me do it!” First method was to blame someone else. How did that work out? It doesn’t really get rid of the guilt does it. It just misplaces it for a while and it still gnaws at us.

Pretty much the same with “I am innocent, it didn’t happen that way.” Now you just flat out lied about it. And if you can get other people to lie with you and for you loud enough and long enough it might seem like you were innocent, in the end truth comes out and it is all worse than it was before.

How about it wasn’t really me, it was my evil self.  Dividing yourself into multiple personalities doesn’t really sound like a smart solution either.

All the way we try to relieve ourselves of guilt no matter how small the error, it eats at us, doesn’t sit well with our psyche, our souls. There is only one method that works and while it is the easiest, it seems to be the one we take the least.

Repent, and ask for forgiveness. Acknowledge I did do wrong, affirm I do not want to do wrong again, ask God, ask the people around you for forgiveness, accept the forgiveness and then go do the best you can, with all you have until you stumble again. Rinse repeat. Because you will stumble again.

But in the meantime how do you give all you have? By asking and then accepting the forgiveness. How else do you put all your heart into the next relationship? How do you give it all with no hesitation on the next pitch? The next dinner with your family? The next conversation with your daughter?

And what is the secret to accepting forgiveness? Knowing you are loved. People  that love you and yes your Father loves you, wants to see you do your best, wants you to believe in yourself, give all you have and see you love with all your heart; and knows without lifting the weight of guilt off your shoulder you won’t be able to do your best. Love is more concerned about you and you being your best than it is about whether or not you stumbled. Love is the answer.

 

Does Absolute Power Corrupt Absolutely?

Is this true? I think most of us accept this as true, and I haven’t really thought about it before now. It can’t be true. If there is anything, anyone that has absolute power it would be God. God cannot by definition be corrupt. So it isn’t true. Can’t be.

What does corrupt people always, everywhere? It is said not money in and of itself, but the love of money is the root of all evil. So would it be the love, the desire for absolute power that corrupts absolutely. That makes sense and must go back to the Garden of Eden and the Original Sin.

The Original Sin had nothing to do with sex. It was about grasping, taking what was not yours to take. In the Garden God said, “Do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge!” They did. Then they were thrown out of the Garden lest they eat of the Tree of Life. Now turn your Bibles to the Book of Revelation Chapter 2:7; “To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the Tree of Life.” So sooner or later it is God’s intention for us to eat of the Tree of Live, but at His time not ours. Obviously the Tree of Knowledge was put right there in the Garden next to the Tree of Life because He intended us to eat of it at some point in time, just not right then. But, Adam and Eve went and ate of it anyways, took it into themselves before they were ready for it. They grasped what was not theirs. That was and still is the sin.

The word grasped is important:  Philippians 2:5 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped”. But was given equality with God because of His patience and obedience.

So let me put it this way. Is there a Tree of Absolute Power, of Absolute Riches? If there is, are they something to be grasped? To be lusted for, to scheme for, to kill other people for? Will that not in the end corrupt you? Absolutely!

Further questions:

Can absolute power be held by a fool?

What does purity and power have to do with each other?

What does purity have to do with joy? And thus power and joy?

My new adventure

I am starting a new adventure. This is very much jumping off into the unknown. I think I have something to say. I feel compelled by my Father to say something. I know, I am quite sure that He wants you to know Him better. I am absolutely sure what He wants me to do is to introduce Him more as Father. I have some idea of how He wants to be portrayed.

But, how well am I hearing Him? How well am i interpreting? I don’t know. It’s not the kind of thing any of us can be sure of. I have read a lot. It is one of my favorite things to do. I have gained a lot of knowledge. I have read a very diverse set of literature. Of course the Bible, of course a good deal of theology. A lot about meditation. Does it beget wisdom? I am not positive, but I think so.

I get the impression that the Holy Spirit comes upon all of us, then it searches through all you have read, all you have experienced, all the people and words you have bumped into and then somehow turns it into something that I certainly never expected. It becomes “wow, I said that!”

What I have found is that sometimes the Spirit can’t find what it is looking for in me. I don’t have the right stuff, the knowledge, the facts, the stories and nothing of note comes out. I wonder does it then move on to someone else who has the right ingredients; the knowledge, the wisdom and the courage to speak up and out. I think it takes all three of those ingredients. In todays world it is easy to speak out. Even complete fools can do so, but it still takes courage. There are a lot of people who have knowledge, but no wisdom, and no courage. I am trying to exhibit all three. I can take responsibility for gaining knowledge, I work at it. Wisdom and courage seem more like gifts, so let me be worthy of Wisdom’s attention, and try to be courageous.

Does that make sense? Is that how it works for you?