“Often it is only in our extreme need that we are willing to stop struggling with life and give God an opportunity. The Bible does not treat these truths in a lukewarm fashion, but is always dramatic in presenting them. Therefore we find that Abraham’s test of faith required a most radical reliance on God. Where we are tightest, there we need stretching. Even with you and me, the tests that we draw to ourselves must always be the thing that will force us to grow. The challenge comes where we are most protective of our cherished misconceptions, those little fears and foibles that we hide away.” – Jack Addington, Hidden Mystery of the Bible, p.84
Too often in my life I have encountered some challenge or obstacle and found myself wondering what I did wrong; asking why this has happened to me; praying for a little grace and ease. While there is nothing wrong with grace and ease, I realize that I have a belief that the presence of obstacle and challenge in my life or in our world means that something is going wrong and I need to get back on track. I need to take some type of corrective action.
More and more, I am beginning to realize that challenge and obstacles are rather a sign that I am doing something right. I am ready for more. I am being asked to become a greater lover of God. I am being called to be a greater giver and receiver of Love. Recent events in New Zealand have emphasized this for me. While experiencing my very human responses; while mourning for the innocent; while lost in the confusion of why this happened, I was also aware that here was yet another perfect opportunity to let any aspect of myself that was unlike the infinite and unconditional love of the Divine be ground and polished out of me.
And so I quench the fires of my heart ache and the all too human desire for retribution with the sweet waters of unconditional compassion. And while the flow may only begin with a trickle, I have faith that the stream is sourced from an infinite ocean of compassion and mercy that is the very essence of the Beloved.
We were made for times such as these. I affirm that we will prove up to the task.
Peace and blessings,
Rev. Simon Shadowlight
Associate Minister, Mile Hi Church
Jefferson County Faith Leaders Table