As we progress on our spiritual journey, we should expect to have trials and tribulations along the way. These experiences help us broaden and strengthen our understanding and faith. There are times, however, when we are caught off guard by these troubles and instead of looking within for guidance; we are seduced into relying on external stimuli for information and direction. Undoubtedly when we make these mistakes, we experience a great deal of suffering in our lives.
Whenever we find ourselves in times of trouble, the first and only place to go is within. Although the senses offer a tempting and immediate array of “facts,” we know that the information they provide is unreal and untrue. The Truth is within us. Instead of reacting to outer stimuli, we need to take a deep breath and go within through meditation and prayer. This is the only way that we can make a decision that is based in spiritual reality. It is only through the Power and Presence of Christ within us that we are able to know the Truth. This is the Christian way.
We have the solution to any challenge, when we allow the Presence and Power of God to guide our imagination (you who lead Joseph like a flock). God is at the helm of our inner life (enthroned upon the cherubim), and when we surrender to that Spirit, Divine light shines forth through our faculties of will (Ephraim), faith (Benjamin) and understanding (Manasseh). Only in the glow of that light, can we experience salvation.
It is interesting how often we experience “God’s anger” as a result of our unwillingness to listen for and to the Divine within us. For me it is less about how angry God is, and more about how my actions and choices have constructive and not-so-constructive consequences. The more I am able to reflect upon my life, I come to the realization that the painful decisions are just as valuable as the good ones. It is the Divine imperative that we have been given the freedom of choice and the ability to learn from consequences of our choices.
Typically we sincerely repent (change our minds) only when we recognize that somewhere along the way, we have lost touch with our inner guide and experience the cost of poor decisions. God and the Law are unchanging. It is we who choose to turn away from God and act outside of Divine wisdom. Only God’s way is the narrow way. We must decide that we have experienced enough pain and ask that the Christ Presence within be our guide. This is the essence of salvation.
And so it is! Amen!