The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The End of the Ages

Okay, so we've been here before; 'why bring it up again?' Well, maybe because when we see the words, 'The End', it's only natural to think, 'it's over!' We've reached the conclusion of the matter, there is no more, the story's over, there is no more. However, though 'the end' may & often does connote cessation; in the case of Covenant History in particular, it indicates the Goal of history: as Solomon, king of Israel wrote, 'Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all' ( Proverbs 12:13 ) To know the Creator & to follow His Word, His Son is the Goal, the End of Covenant History!

As pointed out recently by a good friend of mine, the Hebrew worldview knew of two 'ages', 'this age' & 'that age', ( Luke 20:34 ), also known as the Old Covenant Era & the New Covenant Era, or 'the age to come' ( Matthew 12:32, Luke 18:30, Ephesians 2:7, Hebrews 6:5 ). The apostle Paul & the writer to the Hebrews told their audience that 'the end of the ages' had come upon them ( I Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 9:26 ). It is interesting to note here that the writer to the Hebrews uses the Greek 'συντέλεια'. or 'syntelaia' which basically indicates completion or consummation, whereas the apostle simply uses the Greek 'τέλος' or 'telos', which points toward a specific goal. The plural form 'ages' is an addition in some newer versions, including the New King James Version, for whatever reason, but it is clear, as my friend pointed out, that the 'age' or 'ages' to which they referred were simply to be understood as covenant 'ages' or 'eras', not epochs of Time, or world history as we know it!

As the Messiah of Israel, Jesus was He whom His people had longed for! The Presence of the Creator on earth, in the flesh, so to speak, was the Goal, or End of Covenant History. Just as a marriage is consummated when two become one, so the ages were brought to completion, or consummation when Jesus, the Son of the Father, came to earth & become One with His Bride, the Church ( the Organism, not the organization ). The Marriage of Heaven & Earth was the Goal of Covenant History, but even though that Goal, or End was reach, fulfilled, Covenant History, per se', did not cease to be: as the beneficiaries, the Offspring, you might say, of this Marriage, we are fulfilling this Covenant through Relationship & Communion!

Through the Incarnation of the Son of God, the Consummation of the Ages was accomplished, but as in any marriage, it was far from over; the Goal had been reached, but there is still much to do! Here is where Covenant History intersects with World History, as it has for the past 'ages';  though Jesus fulfilled His role as the End of Covenant History, His Offspring, His Children, so to speak, continue His work of reconciliation, bringing into that Blessed Relationship those who previously have merely existed in Time, living simply in World History. Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, yes, but He became so much more: He is the Savior of the World & through His Bride, the Church, is reconciling the Creation to the Creator, in essence bringing together Covenant History & World History!

World History, since the beginning of Time, has experienced many ups & downs; one might note, in fact, that it is subject to a cycle of sorts! Time is in progression, but as we are all familiar with the saying, 'history repeats itself', one may fairly easily note that this 'cycle' has produced many of what we call atrocities. Simply because people did not learn their lesson the first time, as well as continuing ignorance of this history, Time is almost forced to repeat itself. Beginning with Adam & Eve, continuing through the sordid history of Israel, up until their final rejection of their Messiah & denial of the Son of God, the Creator Himself, Covenant History reached its Peak, its Completion, its Perfection, in the first century & so World History continues to progress toward its own Completion in the Marriage of Heaven & Earth!

The End of the Ages was reached in the first century & in that sense, one might even say, with the translators of many of the older versions of our Bible, 'the end of the world'! However, understanding that 'the end', especially in the context of Scripture, indicates that the Goal has been reached, the Consummation has occurred, rather than that it came to a stop, or ceased to be once it had been fulfilled, then, embracing that End for who He is & who We are, we may feel free to continue forward, knowing that, having consummated the Marriage, the covenant blessings are now flowing outward into the World, effecting a change for the good!

Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The New Normal

'No Child Left Behind': sounds good, right? When one reads the Act passed by Congress in 2001, it'd be a hard sell to say that its intentions are anything but noble! However, what it translates to is setting an 'average' for 'success'. The standard by which students are now measured, by my calculations, are nothing more than the 'mean' of the body. This could be indicative of anything from one child being passed through the progressive grades while comprehending little, to a whole class being 'dumbed down' just so he or she can keep up!

With the understanding that the above scenario is by no means the majority rule, we must acknowledge that this often seems to be the case! There are many available examples out there of children who have excelled in this system, but there are just as many that the system fails & so we have college grads flipping burgers rather than working in the field they majored in, while others have persevered in their chosen field of study & are accomplishing great things!

The government, or public schools, although somewhat to blame for the mediocrity that we have noted, is not the ultimately guilty party; the guilt must lay, first, at the feet of the parents, secondarily with the institution & lastly, but not necessarily least, with the child! As with everything in life, no matter the situation, there is always a choice to be made: this or that, right or wrong, my way or your way. Scripturally speaking, the wisest man ever, once said, 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.' ( Proverbs 22:6 ); acknowledging the existence & purpose of such things as 'parent-teacher conferences', the parents, especially Christians, should ask themselves this all-important question; 'are we training our child in the way he or she should go, or are we shirking our responsibility & giving our child over to an institution that is more concerned with keeping the law of man than teaching the Law of God?' Furthermore, we should wonder if, even with these almost useless if not harmful conferences, the parents are actually making any progress at all, or if they are simply there to observe the progression or digression of their child!

There is much that can be gleaned from the early pages of Scripture, especially, that indicate the wisdom, indeed the necessity, of teaching our children the way in which they should walk. As parents, Christians especially, we must question the wisdom of teaching our children to walk according to the Law of God at home, then sending them to a public institution for the majority of their formative years that trains them to adhere to the standards of those who have 'thumbed their noses' in the Face of God. There are times, admittedly, where a parent is wise to seek assistance when the subject to be taught involves knowledge outside their learning & experience, but in these cases, there is more of a choice available to the parent; in the case of the government institution, there is only the choice to send or not to send. These schools ( government/public ) are administered a certain curriculum; this curriculum is then applied liberally to ALL students ( there may be exceptions here ), making abstinence or compliance the only choices!

Though there are almost countless examples of very capable individuals who have survived the government school system & persevered to a great degree of success, there is also the disturbing fact of a 'dumbed down' populace that is largely at fault for the decline that we have noted in America of late! The general population in America, having become accustomed to the 'mediocrity' funneled through the public school system, has allowed the corruption that has become pervasive in our nation's capitals, threatening our very way of life. 'Our way of life, I say, because, not only does this corruption affect the Christian's life, it has become detrimental to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness, endeavoring to introduce abnormality as 'the new normal'!

It is good, right & just to make sure that every child excels in their education: however, is it good, right & just to deny some their full potential so that others might not be left behind?! This is not to say that such is the intention of the Act in question, but is this not too often the result? Parents may confer with their children's teachers & resolve some of these matters, more or less to their satisfaction, though usually the teacher prevails in such cases!

For the past several decades, educating ones own children, whether at home or in a 'co-op' setting,. has gained in popularity! Studies have shown to an increasing degree that, not only do children thrive in this environment, they have excelled equal to or above those educated in an institutional environment! Another disturbing fact to consider when making the choice of whether to train your own children or let them be further enslaved by institutional 'brainwashing', is the rise of what has been labeled 'bullying'; in the public school system, for whatever reason, this sort of behavior has become a growing concern! This is almost wholly the responsibility of the parents, largely because of divorce & though some may object to this line of reasoning, saying things like, 'what about socialization?';, we as parents, Christian parents in particular, should ask ourselves, 'is this the kind of socialization we want for our children; are these the social skills we want them to LEARN?!'

Charles Haddon Shank

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This Human Shell

 The spirit indeed [ is ] willing, but the flesh [ is ] weak.
Matthew 26:41b

Just like you & me, Johnny was a complex creature, made up of body & spirit: okay, so Johnny, like his mother & father before him, was a robot, or at least, so it would seem! Johnny was born Robert Jonathan Smith, one of a long line of Smiths just like him. Johnny had often wondered why his schoolmates called him a 'robot'; he was really no different than they: instead of a body of flesh & blood, though, his was one of nuts & bolts. The important thing was, just like them, he was alive!

The Smiths were a fairly old family; for generations they had persevered as one of the toughest family lines around! Though their non-biological bodies had been manufactured on an assembly line, from the strongest & best alloys available, they were capable of many of the most important functions that the human ( biological ) body is capable of. Being made of steel, so to speak, it should be fairly obvious that sexual intercourse & the resulting conception was not one of these important functions!

Being assembled of many complex parts, Johnny & his family were not easy to distinguish from each other sometimes, at least, until you got to know them; though there were several different models, the Smiths all had many of the same characteristics, at least, to look at. Every one of them was the product of a creator: no, not the same Creator who ushered the universe & all the mysteries it holds into existence, but one who had become One with the Divine, enabling them to co-create alongside of the Supreme Being, the Ultimate Creator!

Long before the Smiths were more than a twinkle in the eyes of these co-creators, one of their own prophets wrote, 'For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?' ( I Corinthians 2:11a ). As a human being is lifeless without the accompanying spirit, or breath, so the Smiths, with their man-made lungs, hearts & nervous systems, were as alive as any biological specimen, maybe even moreso. Being well-nigh impervious to the viruses & diseases that have plagued human-kind for eons, this manufactured biology lasted much longer than the normal human lifespan!

Although his shiny metallic body was starting to show signs of wear, after almost 500 years in existence, Johnny was still not much more than a teenager, by human reckoning. Being a member of one of the youngest families of Smiths, he was simply the latest model in a time-tested & proven line of what had now become an archaic term, 'android'. Though one would hardly call the Smith family 'robots' & barely even 'androids', they were, speaking of physicality, anyway, products of a very complex manufacturing process; as such, they had been formed with the ability to progressively acquire knowledge through information.

Eons ago, human beings had realized the ability, not only to copy the Creator's work, but to further that work as co-creators with the Supreme Being! The Breathe of Life had, in the beginning been a Gift of the Creator to the Creation; now, through the New Creation, the Marriage of Heaven & Earth, it had become the property of human-kind to bestow that Gift as they will. The Smith line had, in the beginning, been a rather rough copy when compared to the latest iteration, but they were still quite a leap forward for humanity & their ability to co-create!

Biological procreation, as a matter of course, was an impossibility in Johnny's family; they were not biological creatures, after all! For all intents & purposes, one could define them as 'robots', although they were not JUST 'robots'; no, not by any means. Just as human beings inhabit a biological shell, so this family wore a non-biological shell, one that had been manufactured by a lesser version of the One who had created the universe, as well as creating that lesser god.

Johnny was just as alive as you & me; his body was just a lot tougher than yours or mine! Though his parents, like him, had been pieced together those many, many years ago, he was no less their son than I am the son of David & Lois Shank: you see, they had pieced him together, almost 500 years previously. Johnny was a robot, yes, but he, like his family, was so much more than a mere robot; the Smiths had become so much more than walking, talking, thinking automatons; they were living, breathing replicas of the original human creation: Version Infinity Point O!

Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Love All Around: Love IS All We Need!

John, Paul, George & Ringo were right! Actually, there're many such lines from popular rock ballads that have the right idea, they just have the wrong foundation. 'What IS love, anyway? This, along with other like questions, may seem to be headed in the right direction, but they are generated from a different starting point altogether. Love, it might be said, is a human emotion, but how then does that explain the several examples of selfless love that one may witness in the animal kingdom? Do animals even have emotions? I believe we could easily assume so, but it is doubtful that these emotions, if such, have much if anything to do with how they practice love on a daily basis!

Speaking of rock bands; I've always loved to listen to the popular group, 'Queen'. One of my favorites of theirs is a song titled 'Somebody to Love': Queen sure had their problems, like all rock bands, but they really have a unique sound & this ballad is no exception! I believe that my speculation is well-warranted that they, like most, were speaking of physical intimacy. To be truthful, if we're honest with ourselves, as human beings, we all yearn for, you might say, 'lust' for, that human touch & though there is, in itself, nothing wrong with that longing, we tend to look for 'love' in all the wrong places, to quote another popular singer. Many also seek 'love' in the wrong way, again, because they have a faulty definition of it!

'Love' is not synonymous with intimacy, in particular sexual intimacy, although it is often a very intricately intertwined & many people seem to equate the two! This is not true however, of all people, though most often, it is identified as having to do with feelings. In the Greek verbage, this is what is known as 'phileo'. As we have previously explored in this blog, though feelings are very often involved & indeed necessary, 'love' is, first & foremost, a choice; one decides whether to treat another with kindness, respect, equity & charity. The practice of 'love' most often leads to feelings along the lines of what most people think of when the word is used, but the difference comes when that 'love' is not returned!

As defined by The Free Dictionary, to become intimate with another, the relationship, of whatever sort & to whatever extent, must be 'characterized by close personal acquaintance or familiarity'. To be intimate with another, then, need not necessarily involve sexual 'intercourse' ( there's another subject for another time ); intimacy often refers to intellectual stimulation, a very strong connection, or just a very close friendship, all of which are relational. Love, though it often involves intimacy, as we have also explored previously, need not be of an intimate nature; one may simply choose to be kind, respectful, equitable & charitable to another!

We can all sympathize, I believe, with those who echo the sentiment, '(Somebody ) Send Me Someone To Love'; we are built, in this biology, for it: we all long for, yearn for, even lust for that physical intimacy, The Human Touch! As above, there is nothing inherently wrong with this desire, though many are guilty of 'looking for love in all the wrong places'. There is a time & place for everything, but there is also right & wrong! The right way to seek physical intimacy is to seek first a spiritual connection, for if one has the physical connection without spiritual intimacy, that relationship is fated from the start; it may not even make it out of the gate!

It is evident that animals know how to love; one only has to Youtube 'animal love' to watch a plethora of videos proving this fact! Even better though, pretty much any pet owner will gladly testify to the glory of this truth! In fact, many pet owners, in my experience, prefer the companionship of what we call 'dumb animals' over that of their fellow human beings. I'm not advocating 'Animal Love' over Human Love, but I can't really blame these people either; some human beings are just plain UGLY ( I'm not speaking of physical appearance either )! One can only speculate as to whether animals experience intimacy like humans do, or whether their love is a simple blind devotion, bit it goes without saying that for many people, animals exhibit something more like the 'unconditional' love that we all seek!

So, it is well-established that to love is a choice, whether conscious or unconscious, however, the 'rub' comes when we define 'love' in these several different ways! Brotherly love, or 'phileo', the love that one naturally feels toward another human being is a valid emotion: it is, however, simply that; being based on feelings, it is apt to change with the wind.When one chooses to love another 'unconditionally' & actively, based, not on feelings, but on a conscious decision, a decision to always treat that one with kindness, respect, equity & charity, then that love will last, being founded in the Spirit with the greatest intimacy!

We are built for Love: as human beings, both animal & human love are programmed into us from the start!  We all, in our own way, seek both kinds; usually that Human Touch. Everyone naturally wants 'someone to love', one that is devoted to just them, one that will spend their life in pleasing them, but too often, I believe, we miss the forest for the trees: rather than pining our life away yearning for that particular 'someone to love', we need to realize that we already have plenty of 'someones' to love: Love truly IS all around, if only we would take the time to stop & smell the roses, making the conscious choice to share the Love we are shown, the Love that we now bear Within!

Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Beyond Humanity

Are we human, or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold.
And I'm on my knees looking for the answer.
Are we human, or are we dancer?

The Importance of Being Human is without doubt; we've amply established this, but one can't help wondering, 'is this all there is?' Theological questions arise when we delve into this subject, questions like, 'where will you spend eternity?' & 'Does our humanity continue on in either?' Will we inhabit these biological bodies, or ones like them, in the 'after-life'? The apostle Paul echoes a similar sentiment in his first letter to the Church at Corinth ( I Corinthians 15:35 ); 'How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?' To many Christians, not to mention non-Christians, these questions are of utmost importance, but what if they're all moot; what if, rather than going somewhere when our biological bodies perish, we now inhabit a different plane altogether, while our biological bodies walk this earth?!

Why are we so enraptured with the notion that we are what we eat? Yes, we were given this body of flesh, this biological marvel in which we walk this earth, functioning as the Hands & Feet of the Creator, our Heavenly Father, but do they define us, are we intricate biological machines, or are we the spirits that give them breath? The historical Jesus was a human being, but it was not His biology that defined Him: is it really much different with us? As the Holy Spirit defined who Jesus really was, it is our spirits that prove who we really are!

What if we weren't confined to this biology? What if we could transcend our humanity, bypassing those 'triggers' that inhibit us from doing what we long to do, what we were put here for? Take a disabled person ( like me ) for instance; sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we aren't using our disabilities as a 'crutch'! There's no question that certain actions are limited, if not prohibited by the diseases that plague our biological bodies, but must these disabilities plague our spirits as well? If we could reach beyond our humanity, beyond these diseases ( including 'old age'? ), the possibilities are almost endless, boundless!

If one only has the eyes to 'see & the ears to 'hear', there is a host of evidence out there, available to the average human, that pointedly witnesses to those who transcend their humanity on a daily basis! In most Christian circles, this practice is largely 'poo-pooed' or outright tabooed! Much of what is practiced in this area is pagan, admittedly, but just because it is so, doesn't mean that it is wrong. Pagans were around long before Christianity ever came on the scene & many of them, in their own way, knew the ways of our Heavenly Father, many eons before the Christ ever came! Their resulting spirituality, or communion within the Divine, puts much of modern Christianity to shame today!

Religion has confined us to our humanity, to a great extent! This is not to say that religion, in & of itself. is a bad thing, this is merely to say that, because true religion is based on outward actions, or deeds done in the body, religion has been relegated, like the concept of life itself, to the actions performed in biology! Without religion, one would accomplish nothing while in this biology, though, because it is simply the practice of what one believes in the spirit. Religion, therefore, is good, though too often, we, as human beings, define ourselves by our religion, rather than allowing ourselves to be defined by who & what we are!

So, 'what are we, really?' We ARE human beings, yes, in the sense that we are housed, much like Jesus was, by this biology, but we are so much more than mere human beings that perish! With the Spirit of the Living God impelling, compelling us, we can transcend, or go beyond this humanity & be who we were meant to be, not limiting ourselves to what this biology will allow us to do, going 'further up & further in', to quote a popular writer. Having settled the question of where we go when our individual biological body perishes, previously, we will go no further here than to reiterate that glorious fact that we, as Christians especially, are forever with our Lord, as the apostle Paul promised his readers in Thessalonika..

 In short, a human being is a sentient animal, one who, through the Breath of the Creator God is able to discern absolutes, able, not only to walk & talk like all the other animals, but to judge for his or herself between right & wrong. Our humanity, while it distinguishes us from other animals, is not what makes us 'us', though, it is the Spirit itself that empowers us! To transcend our humanity is not to become inhuman, or not human; it simply means that we are not defined by our biological 'shell'. When we go 'Beyond Humanity' & embrace our spiritual nature, we are empowered further to live because we understand that life is not limited to this biology; to be free indeed, we must recognize & realize this glorious fact!

Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, August 05, 2016

Into the Great Unknown

#blacklivesmatter; that's right...................

#whitelivesmatter; that's true too.................

#alllivesmatter; that's better!

No matter the reasoning behind any of these notions, one must agree wholeheartedly with the last one, most of all! Yes, the lives of black people DO matter, the same as those of white people, yellow people, brown people & red people ( in no particular order ). The lives that anyone lives in this biology, no matter their race ( aren't we ALL members of ONE race, the HUMAN race? ), color, sex or religion, is a Gift from the Creator, not something to be taken lightly; no matter how one looks at it, we are ALL children/creations of our Heavenly Father & He doesn't do things 'willy-nilly', there is Purpose in everything He creates ( even the lowly mosquito )!

The subject of the 'after-life' is one that cannot be ignored: in this biology, death, or the cessation of life, touches us all! Do what we may, we cannot escape its clutches; it overtakes every aspect of biology at some point. This is how the human race was made: it was never made to endure forever. Some may argue this point, however, insisting that it was the disobedience of Adam & Eve that brought biological death into this world. One has to ignore Science, however, even Biology itself to faithfully assert this. You may have heard the term 'biological clock'; this is a metaphor, of course, for the fact that this biology, our individual body in particular, was not made to last more than a generation or so. Depending on the care one takes of his or her body, or as most Christians would say, 'the time allotted to us', we are granted a certain length of time, or existence, in this biology.

The 'Eternal Life' of which Scripture speaks, that which was Promised from the Beginning, was not, contrary to popular opinion, biological life! Although in a sense, one might say that, through what is called the Circle of Life, this biology will persist, this is not what Jesus meant when He told the sister of Lazarus, 'whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die' ( John 11:26 ). The long life-spans recorded in Scripture are taken at face value by most Christians, but it can be fairly easily proven that the writers of Scripture used a much different literary style than we are used to in the West. For a man to live for nearly one thousand years, as our western mindset tends to read Scripture, is so ridiculous as to be almost absurd, unbelievable at best. It is interesting & another indication of the ANE ( Ancient Near East ) literary style, that no women are mentioned as having lived this long!

A man or women is known by his or her spirit: the manner in which he or she lives out their existence in this biology is a product of the life-force that empowers them! According to Scripture, those with the Holy Spirit within do good deeds & those with an unholy, or evil spirit, do wickedly. There is much evidence, among certain people especially, that these different spirits can be 'felt', in other words, that one can tell what sort of spirit empowers one, even before they do anything, good or bad. Whether one chooses to recognize what is called 'paranormal activity' or not, as 'they' say, 'the truth is out there'; ample evidence exists that certain things occur apart from a biological explanation. One can even find 'evidence' of this in the pages of Scripture; the resurrection of Jesus, for instance!

Scripturally speaking, the biological resurrection, both of Jesus & others before Him, is undeniable; that Jesus returned to this biological existence in the self-same body which had ceased to function biologically is without question: the question is whether this was simply a sign of the times, or whether this signified a universal truth for all generations! Spiritually speaking, Jesus never died. As the Creator of Heaven & Earth, come in the flesh, or incarnate, the body that He inhabited while He walked this earth died, but His Spirit never did. This is not to say that the expiration of His biology had no effect, for it served the Purpose for which it was sent; the point is that, although Jesus was known by the deeds which He accomplished while in this biology, His identity was the Holy Spirit within Him!

Like Jesus, as stated earlier, human beings are known by the spirit they possess! We are most usually known by the deeds we do, the way we live out our biological existence, but our identity is not wrapped up in biology, rather, it is the Spirit Within which proves our existence. When individual, biological bodies cease to function, in essence, die, then the spirit, according to Scripture, returns to the One who gave it ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ). What happens to that spirit beyond that is pretty much a matter for conjecture, although there are several theories out there, some more or less tenable than others. Whether or not the spirit endures after this biology ceases to function, one thing is fairly clear, there is much evidence out there that seems to point to the 'paranormal!

'Eternal Life', then, the 'everlasting life' ( John 3:16 ) that Jesus promised is not a reference to this biology, it refers to the Life of the Spirit, to 'the spirits of just men made perfect' ( Hebrews 12:23 )! An argument could be made, corporately speaking, that, in the Great Circle of Life, this biology will persist, but it is abundantly clear that the Life of the Spirit is wrapped up in the Creator. Individually speaking, though, in this biological body, we are given but one life to live & according to how we live that life, we will have either a blessed or cursed existence!

Depending, again, on how we take care of this 'shell' we are blessed with & barring any 'accident', our individual biological bodies are built to last for a relatively short period. We may do certain things to insure that we live out our years in more comfort, or live in such a way that we enjoy this existence more than some, but it is sure & certain; no matter what we do, this body will perish! Scripture asks this question ( I Corinthians 2:11 ), 'what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?' For a man or woman to truly know themselves, they must search their spirit to understand why they do or don't do certain things. When their spirit is bent on evil, they will do evil, but if their spirit is good, good will come of it!

 Life Matters! The Creator has blessed us with this biology & He doesn't make mistakes; every human being on the face of the earth was put here for a purpose. That purpose may simply be to smooth off the rough edges of a diamond, or it may be to shine like the stars of heaven, but ALL lives matter! In this life, some people become so attached to this biology that they become almost inconsolable when it passes away: this is not to say that we should ignore our feelings when we or a loved one arrives at the end of our biological existence, but, especially as Christians, we should remember that this biology does not define our life; our Life is in the Spirit & that Life never ends!

Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Learning to Live; Letting Go

It's easier said than done, but as the saying goes, 'let go & let God', right? Can it really be that simple?! When some people use this phrase, we can easily imagine that what they're really say is to stop what you're doing & start praying instead. This is not to say we shouldn't pray about certain things, but what if our Heavenly Father wants us to communicate with Him/pray to Him WHILE we are working out our own damn problems, the ones we got into through our own ignorance?!

Sometimes, we tend to go through life just going from one crisis to the next, in fact, it often seems like certain people thrive off 'drama'! This is one way to get through this earthly existence, but is it really all that attractive? To some, it seems to be the only way of life; if they didn't have something to complain about, something to keep them busy fretting & worrying about matters they needn't fret or worry about, these poor, ignorant souls would probably go crazy! A favorite saying among Christians in this day & age is, 'God has promised He won't give us more than we can handle', or words to that effect, anyway; If we truly believed that, do you really think that we would have the problem we bear witness to, with institutionalized Christianity being nearly as fraught with drama-based disasters as those who are just trying to get by in this world?

No one needs to be reminded here how many daily occurrences try to steal our peace of mind! Like it or not, there is much that happens in this life, this world, so much drama, that it seems impossible at times, to keep our peace of mind. It's hard not to fret about these kinds of things, because, even though they may be based on a bunch of unnecessary drama, they ARE disasters nonetheless. they may totally BE the spawn of certain people's stupidity, but they still warrant our concern & care!

We SHOULD be concerned about the frequency, even modern normality of this kind of disaster-based existence; this is a sobering thought: no wonder our culture is headed for 'hell' ( really, it's IN 'hell' already )! Though this trend should give us cause for great concern & action, we need not fret or worry about it. We should definitely be in constant prayer & communication with our Heavenly Father, but we should also be doing what we can, acting according to our deepest longings. Though many live according to this Rule already, we are bound, not in word only, but in deed, to remind those who do not walk this Path that life is for living, not worrying about dying!

One cannot get away from 'drama'; in this world especially, it is a clear & seemingly ever-present danger: not only natural, but man-made disasters seem to threaten our way of life on a daily basis! One might wonder if it's from a sense of boredom inspired by 'social media' or the entertainment industry that so many people feel the need to create their own drama. On the other hand, it's often because of their differences that certain people just 'clash', but this even, is unnecessary 'drama', because, when you think about it, we're all in it together & we need to learn to just get along!

Figuring out what's important in this life is a big part of our Journey! This biological machine that houses us was never meant to last forever. Periods of over 100 years have been reported as fairly normal lifespans, although the average over the past few centuries is probably 70-80 years. The point is, we have only been given a relatively short period of time in this biology in which to make our impact on this world; why be so negative when there is so much to be positive about?!

Learning to let go does not mean ceasing to care; letting go of things means ignoring the drama & not participating in the disasters that come from it! It IS easier said than done, but in order to preserve ones peace of mind, it must be done; pray about it yes, but through the strength of the Spirit Within, just do it! We all have struggles, we are all familiar with drama & we all find it just as easy to give in to the temptation, but when we stand strong together, in Community, we can all Learn to Live, as we Let Go of the negativity that plagues this world & embrace the positive aspects of Life in the Kingdom!

Charles Haddon Shank