Thursday, May 18, 2017

Week of May 14, 2017

I can't help wondering if all the God-talk in my day is due the nature of my circumstances, and by circumstances I mean being a pastor.  Frankly, I did not arrive in this circumstance by accident, any more so than any other person arrived in their own circumstance by accident, whatever they may be.  I can definitely recall a time in my life where an obsession with God and a ravaging, almost monomaniacal search for THE way with God ensued.
When choosing a profession, there was no real choice.  Why wouldn't everyone choose God as a profession?  If all that we read and hear at church is true and worth taking seriously, governments and markets--all mortal-made systems--are out of place.  Time is best spent with God.

Experience and life in general has taught me over the years that, actually, there's something wrong with me.  And the asylum for my types is pastoral ministry.  You'll have to excuse my lack of esteem here.  It's an empathetic response, however.

But there are encouraging moments amid the dis-ease.  A friend and I were talking the other day, and he mentioned the phrase "God-winks," which we determined to be those subtle moves of the universe (God moving the universe) in a noticeable way.  And yet (and this is the point) those moves are not all about me.  Some are comfortable with talk of karma.  It's hip these days to talk about what the universe is doing.  We tend to opt for God-talk.  Regardless, happenings--the moves--are never mine alone.  I am part of the universe, such that any move at all for or against me by God affects the whole.  You and I are in a symbiotic relationship with God and each other (Matt. 7.12, 22.36-40).  Carl Jung labled it "synchronicity," which has to do with the whole person, conscious and unconscious alike, making meaning out of events that take place in real time: those moments when the conscious- and unconscious-self--heaven and earth as it were--sync up, touch, and pop off a big-bang event in our awareness.  It's the stuff of "individuation," for those of you who get excited over Jungian Psychology.

Naturally, God-talk is the culture in the asylum.  But God moves lips where you are too, be it like a resort or an asylum.  Even the greener grass needs maintenance; and when you forget, the universe has a way of putting HOA letters in life's mailbox.

So the asylum walls and barred windows are nothing more than my own meaning-making amid God-winks.  What you're seeing from where you stand is no different.  Shunryu Suzuki, in his book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, wrote, "In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means 'beginner's mind'...Our 'original mind' includes everything within itself.  It is always rich and sufficient within itself...actually an empty mind and a ready mind.  If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.  In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few."  Jesus spoke the same way:
"I came into the world for judgement so those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind"(John 9.39).
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners"(Mark 2.17).
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven"(Matthew 18.3-4).

Keep a "beginner's mind," ready and open always for those God-winks.

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