Life turns on a dime. I’ve heard that all my life and somehow it always surprises when indeed, suddenly what seemed so fixed and real changes. As new thought author Eric Butterworth said, life is not always about setting things right as much as it is in “seeing things rightly” (sic). But how do you see something, that, in the moment you just can’t see?
The last couple of Sundays the question has been raised as to exactly where this Wisdom road is leading us. Last Sunday we heard the Risen One charge those he was leaving behind to “feed my sheep; tend to my flock.” One theologian speculated that perhaps this is what these Wisdom stories have been preparing us for all along, where the road we are traveling is ultimately leading us: We are all being asked to step into the role of Good Shepherd and feed God’s sheep, to tend to God’s flock.
Some of us (myself included) heard that as somewhat daunting. Despite my best efforts, as I pondered the idea of accepting the Good Shepherd invitation, I kept hearing Cyndi Lauper wail, “But girls just wanta have fun!!” as if tending God’s sheep, caring for one another is somehow burdensome. Don’t kid yourself; it can be, especially when we are not, as Butterworth said, seeing it “rightly.”
Then suddenly this week almost like a flash of lightning, life “turned on a dime.” A Buddhist friend helped me see the Good Shepherd invitation in a new light; see this invitation as the culmination of everything we have been discussing for months about metanoia (going to the larger mind), kenosis (self-emptying), and living in unitive consciousness. She helped me see the Good Shepherd invitation as a wellspring of creativity and full self-expression, the antithesis of burdensome; the essence of being fully alive, engaged.
How do these sudden insights come about? The Gospel of Matthew describes them as “lightning flashing from east to west, lighting up the sky from one end to the other.” We open ourselves to these “flashes of Light” when we put ourselves under the influence of higher, Divine ideas, rather than under the influence of ideas from Twitter, FaceBook, or cable news. Our Sunday gatherings are opportunities to put ourselves under the influence of Divine Ideas, to charge the atmosphere, if you will, preparing for that which will light up the sky from one end to the other. If you are in town this Sunday, join us and let’s explore the life-giving, infinitely creative Good Shepherd invitation. We will indeed see that there is a “power within us” that teaches us everything we need to know to step into that role. I hope to see you! Love, Linda
Preparing for this Sunday:
Ponder this text:
I will ask the Father, and you will be given another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees it nor knows it. You know it, because it abides with you, and it will be in you. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.