What happens on the inside of a life that has at the core some quality of faith and spiritual substance?
I am pondering this because I am” watching” some people I know who have very different understandings about what it looks like for a person to be spiritually mature. These differences are clashing into each other in ways that are not the stuff of either faith or spiritual substance.
Perfection is not the point in either case; all of us no matter how wise or spiritually formed have our aspects of immaturity, and need for additional depth and wisdom. So, that part we shall assume — not about perfection.
But then, there seems to be some problem with just how “different” you can be from me if both of us are living out of the same source of Life, Spirit, Wisdom?
Some how to my mind and heart, I think the more difference the better. However, I appear to lack much company in that notion.
Perhaps the question beneath all of this has more to do with what it is that provides that solid kind of inner foundation that is not threatened by difference? That lack of threat is one of the clearest signs to me that someone is spiritually mature. But, what to do when this difference is taken as a threat or worse, as a failure to replicate the experience, understanding and world view of another?
Sure, it is her problem…just “leave it!”, as we tell our dogs. But, that approach will not work when the tension is with people I deeply love and respect.
I write about such things in the hope of learning something from this writing. So, far I am thankful for a larger question, even if I have no idea at all what to do about this disruption.
Perhaps we need another kind of “spiritual exercises”, a kind of “strength training” whereby what is different, other, and strange eventually comes to a source of contemplation and new learning?
For now, I will think about this more.
I agree… The heart of God is Love. In Christ we take God’s hand of love and extend our hands to others. In that love is acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation. We find not a melting away of differences, not a common belief system or creed, but a participation in Christ and a purpose that is love.
Our Oneness, our unity is not a shallow unity of surface things. It is the unity of love. This unity is based not on who we are, but on who God is. In fact if you think about it, diversity is not the opposite of Oneness. Only by holding together distinct and very different sorts of beings can Oneness be seen to be real, and based in God’s love. Oneness with and in diversity is proof of God’s love in action.
Oneness is not the end goal. We are to be One for a purpose – so that the whole world will know that Christ is God’s outstretched hand of Love. We are sent as the Body of Christ, as God’s outstretched hand of love.
You know this… that “oneness is not the goal”….but I keep bumping into folks who are lost there.
I am really stumped to see such insistence that we all need to be one way. And we can’t be. This all alike…thing stops us from moving forward in any way.
Thanks for the reply.
Kathryn, thank you for sharing your insights via this blog! I’m subscribing, and looking forward to it.