Thursday, August 2, 2012
Ever looked in a circus mirror? Ever looked through an antique window pane? Ever tried on someone else's glasses? What we look through to see the world is critical to how we act. Les Newsome from Ole Miss frames it this way, "a person's behavior will match the reality they live in. A person whose reality is being underwater will behave in a certain way - swimming and not breathing." If we think our true "reality" is the now and the circumstances around us, then we will act like the world. If we see reality through a lens that is distorted then we will reach for our Coke and knock it over instead of picking it up. One of the major tasks in our life is to un-distort our lens, to learn the true reality of the Kingdom of Heaven so our behavior can be congruent with who we are in God's story. The problem with this is that when all you have seen has been distorted then you think that is normal. An abused young girl that I worked with could not accept that I cared for her because all the care she had ever known included being beaten. Since I did not beat her as her mother and father did, I must not care for her, she assumed. It is a long therapy to move her from her "reality" to the truth. It is a long transfiguration to move from an earthly perspective/lens/reality to God's true one. Generally, you cannot do it by yourself because you see what you have always seen. Even new information is not helpful because you process that through your old lens according to your old reality. Another reason that community is essential. However, in order for the community to be helpful, the people in the community must also realize that their lens is distorted as well. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is with us and can...will step in if you let Him. The upshot of this then is to let Him. How? The main transfiguring experience in our lives is worship. Most people want Bible study to be the transforming experience because that is easy and clean and predictable and we can control it. The problem again is that all we get is processed through our perspective/lens. In worship, sitting with God, orienting ourselves to Him, we get a tan, as it were. We cannot, of our own will, tan ourselves but we can step into the sun. The same with our transfiguration. We cannot control the re-formation of our reality or lens but we can allow God to do that. So worship Him. Spend time with your attention on Him. This does not mean singing worship songs necessarily though it can. It does not mean giving God your laundry list of wants - even unselfishly for others' healings or well-being. It does not mean showing up at the church when the doors open. What worship is is telling God He is great and worthy of you telling Him that He is great. Tell Him in all the ways you can that He is wonderful. Not because He made giraffes or healed Aunt Sue. Not because He gave you a beautiful baby. Not because He got you home when the car was acting up. Not because..... Telling Him that He is good even when you don't understand how that squares with what you see in the circumstances around you is what He desires. Acknowledge Him as powerful, loving, just, right, patient in every way you can think of. This will change your lens and you will begin to see aright. Then truth will be your reality and the life you are longing to lead will be congruent with His plan and you will be amazed at who you are and more and more and more amazed at Who He is. Worship... the lens changer.
Posted by Walt at St. John's Parish at 5:03 PM