Spiritual Thought for Today Archive of Week #6

Perspective

"Things look so different from the sky, funny how things change when you're up high." So goes the refrain of a David Allan Coe song, not exactly scripture but a valuable message nonetheless.

When we look at our lives or problems from a distance we gain a different perspective. From on high the town we live in looks very small.

Too often our likes and dislikes are magnified by our closeness to them and our spiritual life ends up in ruins in the process.

It was an ancient practice to spend time meditating on death to overcome this obstacle, by thinking about one1s ultimate end everything was put into perspective.

What is bothering me right now? What excites me right now?

In the course of eternity will either matter?

Too often people chart their lives based on little rewards and revenges missing the beauty of God1s creation around them. Let1s not make that mistake. Today take a look from afar to gauge what really matters.

#2

Someone's at the door

"After this I had a vision of an open door to heaven," John writes in the book of Revelation. It's good to know that God has an "open door" policy.

When I was in the military new commanders would always begin their introductory remarks to the troups by telling us that they had an "open door" policy, meaning that if you wanted to talk about anything you had free access to them. Inevitably someone would raise their hand and ask, "does that mean that we don't have to go through the chain of command?"

The commander would look at the soldier and usually sigh heavily and than spout off the company line, "Of course you should use the chain of command."

It essentially made a joke of the "open door" policy, but with God we do have direct access. What is more John tells us that not only was the door in Heaven open, but Jesus tells him that he is knocking on our closed doors so that God can have dinner with us.

The passage illustrates that God is more than ready to be involved in a deep relationship with us if we want that, the question is do we? How much does God fit into our daily lives?

I never took the commander up on his "open door" policy, but I have God and God has never let me down.

#3

But who are you?

Itinerant exorcists tried to drive out evil spirits by imitating St. Paul saying, "I adjure by the Jesus whom Paul preaches."

The response of the demon was, "Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you?"

The end result was that the itinerant exorcists wound up possessed themselves and they ran off naked. Those who heard about the account were converted to Jesus.

It is not enough to know about Jesus, like a student doing a research project. To experience the power of Jesus one must have a relationship that is built on trust.

I have to have faith that God truly loves me and desires me to return that love.

I have to believe that God cares about me in a way that my daily life is of interest to God.

I have to trust that God wants what is best for me.

If I do, I will be amazed at the power of God.

I remember a story told to me several times by a woman named Jean who grew up in Poland just before the war. Her father had been killed in World War I and her mother was trying her best to raise the children left behind. On a particular day when the entire cupboard was empty and the next paycheck wasn't due for a few more days, Jean says that her mother did not fear. Her mother went to Mass.

"The Lord will provide," her mother told the children. When they returned from the daily mass, there was a big commotion out in front of their house. Running up to the scene, the children found that the bread truck had tipped over due to the wagon wheel breaking.

The driver of the truck told the people to help themselves to the bread, since he would be unable to fix the wagon until it was emptied of it's load. They gathered up the loaves and had more than enough to eat until Jean's mother received her next pay a few days later.

Do the daily events of my life seem to come right from the pages of the gospels? Do I have a relationship with Jesus or is he just someone I know about?

#4

Damaged Goods

I was listening to a talk radio show yesterday as a woman tried to explain to the host why she was in a bad relationship that had lasted for seven years. The host would not accept any of the woman's rationalizations; after all by the woman's admission the relationship was hurtful and destructive. Finally the woman said, " I stayed with him because I felt like no one else would want me, I'm damaged goods."

We are all damaged goods. It is an illusion that many people live with to think that there are perfect people out there who have no problems and have lived perfect lives. They do not exist.

We all live with this taint on our nature that makes us all feel not quite right or acceptable. It is what Christians have termed "Original Sin." Remember the first effect of Adam and Eve eating from the tree that God had put off limits was that they realized they were naked. They no longer felt right in each other's presence.

The second effect was that they no longer felt right in God's presence either.

When we catch ourselves feeling like damaged goods it would help us to remember what's going on and what the solution is.

Jesus came to save us from original sin. The people he came into contact with who felt like damaged goods before they met him were lifted up after their encounter with the Lord.

If you feel like "damaged goods" spend some time in the presence of the Lord. Go into a church and just sit before the Blessed Sacrament and allow the silent healing energy to take effect. You will find yourself renewed.

#5

Speed

There is no one passage of the Gospels to point to where Jesus told anyone to take their time doing anything, but an overall reading of the gospels gives one the impression that Jesus did not rush any job.

There are places where he is goal oriented and sets out on his journey to Jerusalem and the Apostles seemed rushed at times, but Jesus always seems to have time to stop and take in the beauty of God's creation.

I can learn a lot from Jesus' example, too often I am in a hurry to move from point A to point B with no time to enjoy all the points in between.

Today think of the example of Jesus. A man was calling out to Jesus from the crowd that had gathered around him, his Apostles tried to silence the man, so that Jesus could make his way to Jerusalem. Jesus silenced the Apostles.

My prayer is that today, Jesus will silence the voices that make me feel like I have to rush.