Tag Archives: spirituality

Letting Go

In life, when we look to God for answers, sometimes the answers don’t come from our own thoughts but rather are provided for us through other means.

During our weekly hikes, there is always conversation that enlightens and inspires. But yesterday, as our journey led us along the cascading sounds of Hebron Falls, the words of my friend floated into my heart like those whispering echoes of droplets spraying against the rocks below. My hiking buddy Richard, who will turn 86 in just three months, was reflecting on how God was redirecting, changing the course of his life. He then described the feeling of slowly being stripped of all those things that had seemed so important, leaving him with a focus unlike ever before. As he spoke, he described the feeling of riding a horse bare-back – no harness, no saddle, just he and the horse.

Hebron Falls, Boone Fork Trail, BlueRidge Parkway, NC.

In my mind, I could see my daughter so many years ago, riding her pony up the hill on our farm back in Chatham County. She and her steed were flying against the backdrop of the fencing that ran along the driveway. With her arms outstretched, head slightly leaning back, she was free, flying along at the top speed of her pony Sugar. The sight of them momentarily took my breath away – the instincts of a parent, momentarily froze as we say that silent prayer of protection. Together, they imparted into my soul what it was to fully trust and that sense of freedom to which it provided.

Richard’s description yesterday of being freed from all bondage of this world’s distractions, although I’m not certain that he meant distractions but possibly earthly connections, resonated within me something that I wanted to reconsider and perhaps write about. While these thoughts were bouncing around in my head, another one of God’s wonders happened.

This morning when reading as part of my daily devotional, a passage from C.S. Lewis came up. It was as if God had been listening and wanted to chime in and add to our conversation.

To shrink back from all that can be called Nature into negative spirituality is as if we ran away from horses instead of learning to ride. There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room (more room than most of us like) for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, ‘Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot be trusted even with the wealth that perishes?’ Who will trust me with a spiritual body if I cannot control even an earthly body? These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may some day be free of horses altogether but that some day we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world- shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King’s stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else— since He has retained His own charger—should we accompany Him?[1]

It seems as if we can never cease to learn that God has intended for us to continually strive to understand and adapt to how we are to better serve him in this life. Learning to intentionally remove, or as in more often is the case, finding that He, through divine intervention, is slowly removing the unnecessary baggage to which we cling, we come to a greater realization of our purpose in this life. Giving it all to God literally can bring the feeling of riding a horse at full-gallop, bare-back, at the mercy of that which we cannot control.

We are saved by God’s grace, not by anything we can do of ourselves. It is through this undeserving grace that we may have eternal life. Our natural tendency is to grab onto things of this world through which we think we find comfort. When we realize that those worldly things are merely false idols, we naturally want to turn away from everything. It is this shrinking away from those things to which we are lured into sin that we must learn to control and willingly, with God’s help, learn to refuse. It is this strength within, this fortitude of character, to which we can then learn to strengthen our soul. By this conditioning of the soul, our spirit becomes enriched so that we become better horsemen, if you will. This preparation is a lifelong endeavor, enabling us to then, when our time on earth has ended, to join our Lord and Savior, at those stables on high, where together, we will ride in spiritual bodies, majestic steeds unlike any we would have known here on earth.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”- 1 Cor.15:44

My friend, as you read this text, my prayer for you is that God will speak into your life and open your eyes to the pathway that leads to life eternal. May you find that the Lord, once you seek Him, and he will begin to change your life. I pray that those things which once occupied all of your time and energy, those negative things to which brought no reward other than their earthly pleasures or momentary satisfaction, will begin to fall away and that in so doing, you find a greater purpose with which to live.

Prayer and supplication are the beginnings of drawing closer to the Lord. Do not make the mistake of turning away from all things spiritual when the going gets difficult. Learn to control your spiritual body so that it will continue to grow and become better horsemen of that figurative pony.

Your heavenly steed patiently awaits.

The King of all kings and his charger are ready to ride. The decision is yours to make.

Thanks be to God.

[1] Miracles: A Preliminary Study. Copyright 1947 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1947

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Filed under Inspirational

The Light Within…

2013-01-03 21.17.25-1Tonight, as I look out the window of my barn studio, there is no moon, no light from outside, only the inside reflecting back at me. Were there light from the moon or an outside light, I might not have noticed. Here in the country, the only light at night is what we either create ourselves or what the good Lord gives us in the form of moonlight. Since there are no flood lights turned on, on this side of the barn tonight, all I get is what is directed back toward me from within, showing the mural I’ve been working on for Mary’s room. Strangely enough, I can see flying cats and a Pegasus in my window.

Thanks to the trick of the light, I could easily imagine there were floating castles and flying cats just outside my window: again, the light from within shining back at me. Notice the play on words. Light is a major factor in our lives physically and spiritually.

I have come to the awareness these past few days that our lives are filled with our ability to cope with the truth, and yes, the light. The question I have posed to myself is “How much light within is actually reflecting out?” In the Bible truth and light are used frequently when speaking of the word of God and his son, Jesus.

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. – Psalm 43:3

The truth, like the light, is difficult to look into directly. One tries to stare into the bleak stark whiteness, brilliance beyond comfort until the pain makes us look away lest we harm our vision. Truth, like the light, can also be painful to bear, standing directly in the midst of the utter essence of what is can be so uncomfortable that we want to shy away, whether it be to turn our heads, escape mentally or physically leave the scene.

A blinding flash can cause us momentary blindness and in some cases, searing ocular pain. Similarly, a truth, previously undiscovered or known brought to out immediate attention can literally take our breath away and making us physically ill or sick to our stomachs.

When we are put under the spotlight, so to speak, we often find the intensity of scrutiny placed on us or others so daunting that it almost makes the reason for that garnered the attention to start with questionable. Yet, in the time of Jesus, he did just exactly that, brought the spotlight upon himself. Each time he came under scrutiny, he humbled himself to the point there was nothing for the inquisitor to sink their prying questions into, thus leaving them scratching their heads.

However, unlike Jesus, I personally find it far more difficult to be Christ-like. Yes, I pray for guidance and seek his wisdom daily, but I’m still human, I still make mistakes, and yes, I still sin. How do we expect others to stand in the light and seek the truth when we ourselves find our ability to do so failing? How do we lead others to the truth and the light we hardly have enough for others to even notice?

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light. –Ephesians 5:8

Because Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice, dying for our sins, we can become children of the light. With this possibility, we can strive each day to live in the light, and yes, the truth. When we share the truth, the Word, with others, we are then walking in the light out of the darkness and giving others the chance to do likewise. So you may never reach someone to the point they decide to accept Christ, but you can try. You can’t see in the dark until you first turn on the flashlight. Have you even checked your batteries lately? Is your own light turned on?

I admit it, it’s not easy.

We must walk the walk, stare into the blinding light and lead others toward it. Painful as the truth may be, we must face it, accept it and admit we are of sin and once we take that step of commitment, then, and only then, can we begin to heal and become all we can be.

Will you walk with me today, into the light and out of the darkness?

Take the step if you will, it will only take you closer to the light and the truth.


Filed under Inspirational, Religion