Easter, 2018 (4)
Apr 22, 2018
Easter 2018 (4)
While he was blessing them,
He left them and was taken up to heaven.
We will go through many dying and death events in our life, before we transition permanently. Hopefully these events will lead to a resurrection event and ascension into a closer relationship with our God, but that is our choice. We can accept the pain and use it for growth, or we can reject the opportunity and blame someone else, often blaming God and regaining our egoic self to an even stronger grip on our thinking process.
These opportunities can lead us ever closer to God, as we surrender our ego-based self a little more each time we go through one of these cycles. Or, they can lead us to bitterness and resentment to fate or God for having led us through so much pain. We can be resurrected and find our ascension, or we can remain locked into that personal hell as long as we wish.
The choice, as always, is ours to make.
But don’t worry if we make the wrong choice; another occasion of pain will some along and we get to choose all over again. It seems strange, but all birth comes through pain, even our universe. Life itself is based on the fires of our sun, and only with the warmth given by the fires of the hydrogen explosions keep that life going that we enjoy so much.
And our God, in the form of the human Jesus, joined us in that pain by being visible in the form of life as we know it. For make no mistake, Jesus was human, through and through. As St Paul puts it: “but God emptied itself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of human.” (Philippians 2:7) As a human, Jesus suffered the painful death of crucifixion, not to appease God, but to show us that through pain the resurrection occurs and we are “saved”, or made aware of the Love of God. and then we can ascend to heaven, which lies within each one of us. That is, that part of God that is Who We Really Are, becomes touchable and we are aware that it is part of our very being, our soul.
Unfortunately, we too often forget. Then it occurs again. But once that ascension has occurred one or more times, and it becomes easier to reach that level the next time, and then exceed that level and go beyond to an even richer life. For indeed, we have infinite capacity to grow, even to the level of Jesus or more as he said (“Greater things than this shall you do”, John 14:12-14).
But the choice is ours, always ours. We can grow or retreat, for there is no middle ground in this life. We can become one with the ascension or not. Always our choice.
But life is always going on. These moments, even if we accept them and grow, it is too easy to become lost in the muddle of the past, and we too often forget, and need to undergo the process once more. And the process will be repeated, for that is life. But this time, if we have accepted in the past and felt the Love of our God in the midst of that pain at another time, we will find it easier to find once more that level of comfort and even more the next time.
But why must we undergo pain before we transform ourselves? The truth is, if everything is good, and we are happy, we would have no reason to change. In fact, we would refuse to change. We change only when what we are doing no longer works, and we have no choice but to change SOMETHING! The pain has to rise to the point where we have no choice; either we blame someone else, blame God, (this is called scapegoating), or else we leave our egoic center and let ourselves surrender. Always our choice.
So the ultimate question becomes: How do you die before you die? The answer each of us comes up with is the answer that Jesus calls forth when he tells us to die so that much more can come forth. When the pain of a lost relationship, lost job, accident, injury — the list goes on and on, but the result is always a call from God to see the Love of God that is being presented to us in the midst of our pain. The love of God is wrapped up in all that we do, and our goal in life is to move to be able to recognize that love however it appears.
This process of dying and resurrection, and ascension, is the process of life. God is always creating us anew, but how we direct that creation (and it is ours to direct) is always up to us. We are the one to exercise our will and move forward or retreat; we can even do both in the same experience.
The next time that we find ourselves overwhelmed with life, and life events, stop and ponder the moment. Hopefully we will use those moments to lean on God, and let ourselves be carried, at least for a little while. If we follow the route of letting God guide us during these times (while doing all we can to aid the situation), we will find ourselves relaxing. And who knows; we may find ourselves looking back and see the grace that flooded us body and soul at these moments.
Maybe, just maybe, when the time for the final transition occurs in our life, we will have experienced the death, resurrection, and ascension sufficiently that we will move graciously through the experience to be able to see life everlasting.
Holy Wisdom, I bow before You, acquiescing to Your cycle of life that is ever present. Grant me the wisdom to be able to see your love during these moments of pain, mental or physical. I trust You to guide me with a gentle hand during these times, and know that if I respond as best I can through these moments I will find myself living ever deeper in the Love that permeates me, if I see it or not. I accept these times in my life as a sign of grace that is always flooding my being at every moment.