How To Connect With The Spirit Of God While Meditating

Connecting with the Spirit of God is like falling in love. You have to create space in your life for it to happen.

You will experience the holy in your own unique way. There is no magic recipe to make it happen. You don’t need to be part of a church, mosque or synagogue. You don’t have to believe in a particular dogma. You just need to be open.

Here are eleven ways to help you create space for the spirit of God in your life:

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1.     Choose a form of meditation that works for you:

I am using the term meditation in its broadest sense. It is any spiritual practice that can help you to quiet the mind.

Prayer is a form of meditation. When you pray you become open to the wisdom of God through listening with all your senses.

With intention, we can turn many life-giving activities into meditation.  What do you enjoy doing? Do you love to work with the soil? Do you like to create things with your hands?

Today there are apps out there to help you meditate. The App I like the best is called “Insight Timer” which is available at The App Store or Google Play.

One of my favorite types of meditation is called Centering Prayer. First, you choose a focus word. Just be silent for a few moments and see what word comes to your mind.

Start with a few minutes gradually increasing the length of your meditations to between thirty and sixty minutes every day.

Just allow your thoughts to pass through your head and when you start to focus on an idea go back to your focus word to bring yourself back to the present.

Over time you will look forward to your daily practice and notice the difference when you miss a meditation.

There are many forms of meditation that include chanting, yoga, mindfulness, circle dances and more.

 

2.     Practice:

Learning to meditate takes practice.  The more you do it, the easier it will be.

There is no telling when you will experience those holy moments with God. But the more you practice, the more likely you are to notice the sacred moments that happen every day.

Learning to meditate is all about quieting your mind.  Learning to meditate is all about becoming freed up to notice the wisdom you have been given through your body, heart, and mind.

You are not only to practice meditating but to improve your observation skills. Spirit is sharing wisdom with you every day. As you strengthen your ability to notice what is going on within you and around you, you will be rewarded with a depth of spiritual wisdom that will change your life.

 

3.     Journal:

Journaling is a great way to observe and name what is going on in your daily life. If you don’t like writing you could do an audio journal recording it on your smartphone.

Take time every day to name what you are learning through the sensations of your body,  your emotions, and your thoughts. Write this down whether that be in prose, poetry and/or drawings.

Give yourself time to fully experience the ups and downs of your day to day life.

Honor whatever you come up with. It is all good!

 

4.     Listen to the feelings of your body:

Your body is full of wisdom. The spirit of God often communicates with you through the sensations of your body.

In the beginning, these sensations may feel intense and overwhelming. But the good news is that the more you can be with these feelings the less power they have over you.

Often when trauma is not treated, the energy will get stuck in your body. So every time you get stressed out this physical memory gets activated. But the more you can be with your feelings and release those old memories you become more open to the present.

As you live more and more in the moment, the spirit of God will be able to better communicate with you through your body. God working through your body will help you know if you are on the right path.

When your body is entirely online, you will inwardly know how you need to live your life. You will know without any effort.

 

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5.     Checkin with your heart every day:

The spirit of God is within your heart. Meditation and journaling help you to get in touch with your heart.  It is a beautiful and vulnerable place.

Are you aware of your emotions? Meditation will help you to name what you are experiencing whether that be sadness or joy.

Meditation will help you see the difference between what you think you feel as compared to what you are experiencing in your heart.

Meditation will unlock in you the truth of the heart. This is God’s desire for you to reflect the love of God back to those you meet every day.

Your own heart connects with the heart of God.  Your heart in alignment with God will show you how to live in the world. It will show you where you need to share God’s divine love in helping to build up a world where all can live with joy, hope, respect and good health.

 

6.     Pay attention to your intuition:

You have your intuition. Intuition is that inner knowing of something you need to do. You might think of a friend or family member and know you need to call them. Then you call them, and you discover it was important.

Your intuition might tell you that you need to leave your job. It knows that your job is hurting you and your family. You leave your job and find a happier life.

Your intuition comes from your body wisdom that is able to notice problems well before our mind becomes aware of it. It will know that there is something or someone better out in the world for you.

God speaks to us through our intuition. The more you are present to the moment the more you are attuned to the many subtle ways that God informs your choices.

With practice and experience, you will become more aware of whom is speaking to you. You will notice the difference between your ego speaking and God.

 

7.     Act out of faith:

This is where faith comes in. Your inner-critic will try hard to stop you. It will come up with all sorts of excuses. The inner-critic likes the devil it knows better than the devil it doesn’t know.

The inner-critic wants you to be safe. This was important when you were a child, but now an adult, you are capable of making your own choices; choices that are congruent with your emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.

With practice, you will be able to quiet your inner-critic.  As it calms, you will get more and more hungry to risk doing God’s work. Tasks that you once thought you were incapable of doing become possible. Actions that frightened you no longer overwhelm you.

There comes the point where you need to make it happen. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. But take a step forward declaring to the universe that you are ready to make changes in your life.

Listening to your inner wisdom, the spirit of God, you will find a joy in your life that you never dreamed of was possible.

 

8.     Live in the Moment:

As move into faithful living meditation will help you to live in the moment. Too much of your life you have probably spent too much time living in the past or future.

With practice, you will be able to focus your attention on the moment with access to all your internal wisdom. This gives you all the tools you need to make any choice in life no matter how small or significant.

As your life gets busy again, you may be tempted to let go of your daily meditation. You will notice a difference if you give up your spiritual practice. Daily meditation is crucial to staying in touch with the spirit of God.

You will find that you will have a lot more energy when you are living in the moment. You don’t get caught in unnecessary worry. You don’t fear for the future.

The decisions you need to make become clear because you inwardly know what is in your highest interest as an individual and as a community.

 

 

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9.     Find a community to encourage, support and hold you accountable:

If you are part of a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, you already have a built-in community.

If you are not part of any religious group, you will need to find a  group of people who can support, encourage and challenge you into being all you can be as you do the same for them.

As humans, we are not meant to be alone. You have been given unique gifts to share in the world. We need each other to bring out the best in each of us.

The spirit of God’s wisdom is often revealed where at least two or three people gather. We can help each other to see truths that, maybe, we can not see ourselves.

Each of us reveals the face, heart, and mind of God to each other. We become mirrors of the divine for ourselves and the world we live in.

 

10.Take care of your Self:

Daily meditation helps you to make room to take care of your physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs.

Taking care of all your needs frees the spirit to work with you. When you have a healthy mind, body, and heart, there is little to get in the way of your relationship with the holy.

 

11.Manifest the spirit of God in your daily life:

Your body is your spiritual home! When you take care of your body, it becomes a welcome place for the spirit of God to reside.

When the spirit of God lives within us, God will become manifest in all you do.

 

Practising daily meditation has the potential to help you connect with the spirit of God.

People who meet you will notice it in how you treat other people. People will see it in how you care for others. People will see it in how you care for the earth.

You will experience the holy within you and around you. There will be a joy in your heart that will carry through the many challenges you will face.

With practice, meditation helps us to live intimately with God. When you live intimately with God, everything we do becomes a reflection of God’s love for all of creation.

When you are rooted in God, you naturally help to bring out the best in each other.  Be that best for yourself and all you meet.

 

Roland Legge offers life/executive coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, and organizations to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online    Please click on “Discovery Call.”

 

Originally post at REL Consultants Blog

 

A Fascinating Overview of How the Enneagram Personality System Works

Seven years ago I began learning about the Enneagram Personality System. It has changed my life for the better. I am much more compassionate and forgiving of myself. I have a lot more patience and compassion to work with people who experience the world differently from me. I am a healthier and happier person. It has helped me so much I want to share it with others.

This is a story of how the Enneagram the Enneagram personality system works.

Ennea means nine, and gram means figure in Greek. So together it means a nine-pointed figure. What is its history?  Here is a short synopsis:

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The symbol dates back about 2500 years. The actual date of its beginning or where exactly it started is unknown. It is a coming together of the wisdom of many different spiritual traditions. Much of it has come from Christianity, Buddhism, Islam (especially Sufis) and Judaism.

Much of this spiritual wisdom, was forgotten for hundreds of years. In 1875 Gurdjieff re-discovered the symbol in his search for the knowledge of the esoteric religions of the past. He formed a group called Seekers After Truth.  He and his friends traveled through Egypt, Afghanistan, Greece, Persia, and India.

Gurdjieff used the Enneagram as a tool to help his students to find their way in the world through dance and movement.

He explained that the Enneagram has three parts that represent the three central laws that describe divine law which governs all existence.

The circle represents unity, wholeness, and oneness and symbolizes that God is one (Hudson, 1999).

The next symbol is the triangle. In Christianity, this is referring to the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or in the Enneagram world, the Law of Three. This symbolism found in the Kabbalah, an esoteric teaching of Judaism. The ancient traditions do not see the world as a place of opposites but of non-duality. Hence the world is full of many hues of color rather than black and white (Hudson, 1999).

The third part is the hexad, referring to the Law of Seven. It demonstrates to us that nothing is static. Our world is continuously changing, recycling and evolving or de-evolving. The Periodic Table and the Western musical octave are all based on the Law of Seven (Hudson, 1999).

The modern Enneagram as we know it came to life in California in the 1970’s under Claudio Naranjo.  Naranjo and many others since him have woven psychology into the Enneagram to bring it into the modern age. He used panels of each type as one way to teach the Enneagram.

Today the Enneagram teaches that when you are born into the world, your ego chooses one of the nine fundamental ways to survive in the world. These represent the nine Enneagram types. This is how the Enneagram personality system works.

You could not have survived without the ego type your inner self chose. No one knows why we choose the type we do. It is probably a mixture of genetics mixed with early life experiences.

Our personality can begin to get in the way when we become adults if we do not become aware of the limitations of our nature.  When you are stuck in your personality, you are only using one-ninth of the tools given.

All the things you do without thinking are your personality speaking. When you begin to be aware of your limited pattern (type) talking, you then become open to responding in new and different ways.

I always say to my clients that when you can notice your personality acting out, you then have the option to respond in ways that are more appropriate for the situation in which you find yourself.

The Enneagram is like a map. It shows you when you are healthy, and not so healthy. It points you in the direction you need to go to get healthier. It warns you when you are getting stuck in old habits that no longer serve you.

When you look at most Enneagram images, you will see arrows pointing in the different directions of integration and stress (disintegration).

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The Enneagram is never static. The health of your personality is never static. Each day you go up and down depending on how much stress you are experiencing.

There is movement on the Enneagram as you move to ether your integration point or your stress point.

The integration points you toward the functional aspects of another type when you are dealing with life well. When you are integrating, you are living beyond the trappings of your personality.

There is nothing wrong moving towards the stress type. The stress point is a safety valve. It prevents you from moving down to a lower level of health than you have ever been before.

Just to learn the types can be a fun thing to do. It can be a great party conversation. But it is only of use if you commit to learning through this tool through workshops, reading, reflection, counseling, and coaching.

The only person who can tell you who you are is yourself. For many people, it takes time to discern what type you are. It is easy to misidentify when you are not self-aware.

The Enneagram is no excuse to behave in a particular way. The gift of the Enneagram is that it points out to you the personality box in which you find yourself. A healthy person will develop strengths in all nine types. This is how the Enneagram personality system works.

Learning the Enneagram together with someone that knows you well such as your spouse can be a lot of fun. Your partner can help you to see who you are. When we are so close to ourselves, we can easily deceive ourselves into believing our desired image of our self when in reality people around us experience us differently.

The Enneagram teaching is an excellent tool for any group such as spouses, a whole family, congregation or business to learn how to get along better with each other. You begin to understand your differences because of how you see the world through your different lenses.

I expect at some time in your life you assumed that everyone thought the same as you did—until you got a rude awakening.  We all have different ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

You will discover that most people don’t want to annoy you. They just see the world in different ways and have different priorities.

The nine Enneagram types divide into a triad of gut, heart, and head. These are our three energy centers. Your type suggests which one of these energy centers you either avoid or overuse. It just means this is where you are most comfortable but to be healthy, we need to keep all three of these wisdom centers open.

You can also use another triad of assertive, withdrawn and dutiful.

The assertive types of people move out into the world with force and conviction. They are a force to be taken seriously.

The withdrawn types when under stress like to withdraw into themselves to recharge. They are usually great observers of what is going on around them. They are easy to get along with.

The dutiful types when under stress feel responsible for taking care of everyone around them and making sure everyone stays safe. The dutiful types can often feel overly responsible.

The Enneagram is all about finding ways to live with as much presence as possible. Presence is the ability to stay open to the wisdom of your three energy centers: the gut, heart, and head.

The Enneagram is meant to help you move out of the fog of life. When you are stuck in your personality, it is easy to go to sleep to your true self. You live out your image of yourself without any self-awareness. Your life becomes more and more limited unless you find the courage to discover who you indeed are.

Using the Enneagram takes time and intentionality. It is a tool that will give you new things to learn each day no matter how old you are. It is no quick fix.

If someone claims you need fixing with the Enneagram, run away as quickly as you can. These teachers are dangerous!

I love the Enneagram! I hope it can help you as much as it has and continues to help me. I learned that being a type six explained why I had had lots of anxiety issues through my life. I have a lot more compassion for myself. I have learned how important meditation is for me to quiet my mind.

The Enneagram can change the world!

Learning that I am a type six has helped me to acknowledge my strengths such as my ability to look for problems before they become serious.

It has been a blessing in my relationship with my wife, Jen. She is a type five (the investigator). She thinks everything through before she says anything. She finds it difficult to express herself especially when she doesn’t feel that she has enough information.

I am the opposite. I think out loud. I learn through my conversations with others. We have had to learn much. I have learned to give Jen lots of time to think. She has learned that she needs to tell me what she is thinking, especially when it is a decision that affects both of us. We now laugh together instead of cursing each other.

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I invite you to try out the Enneagram. It is a productive tool that reflects the complexity and holiness of each person.  It shows you where you are right now and where you need to go to get healthier.

This fantastic tool helps you to find your true self or God self. The Enneagram shows you a way to be aware of your sensations that are full of wisdom. The Enneagram shows you a way to remain open to your emotions through your heart. This is how the Enneagram personality works.

You learn that your feelings shine the light on how you are experiencing the world in each moment. Then your mind, when quiet, helps you to connect with your intuition.

Please join me on this journey to new life. May it be full of surprises, wonder, and hope.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

Originally published at http://www.relconsultants.com/blog

Author: Roland Legge

 

 

How to Connect with God without Going to Church

Silhouette of woman praying to godGod is in the in-between. Spirit lives within us and around us. Spirit connects us with all of life both animate and inanimate. To communicate with God, we need to stay present and open to the wisdom that is available to us all the time. You don’t need to go to church to open your channels to higher vibrations.

Here are Nine ways to connect with God without going to church.

1.       Slow Down:

Your life is precious! You have a limited time on this fantastic planet earth. It is your job to make the most of it.  Staying open to this limitless sacred energy helps you to know how to live your life fully.  You will discover a natural flow to life that will carry you on like a gentle river.

If you want to stay connected with God, you need to slow down so the Spirit can get your attention. It is hard to remain related to the Holy when your life is so busy that you barely have time to sleep. God’s light will be revealed in our lives whenever we open up space for it to shine.

Make time for God, and you will be blessed.

2.       Meditate and or Prayer:

Meditation and prayer are all about creating openings for the Holy to reveal itself in our lives. Meditation can help you to experience God within yourself through your body, emotions, and mind. Prayer is more like an open conversation with Spirit.

There are countless ways to pray and meditate. One method you can use both is Centering Prayer. Father Thomas Keating has brought this practice back into our modern consciousness.  I love it because it does not require us to empty your mind. You choose a focus word to help bring you back into presence whenever you get too focused on a thought.

In the end, you need to find a practice that works for you.  You can have a conversation with God, but don’t expect instant answers. It may seem like God is not hearing you, but years later you will find that God did respond; not necessarily in the way, you had hoped. Prayer can include a lot of active waiting.  It is about living as though your prayer is answered but without any expectation of how God is going to respond.

There are many traditions to explore from a variety of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. Then there are the Eastern religions/philosophies to explore. There is no wrong or right way to pray. The only condition you should put on prayer and meditation is the holy intention of generosity, love, and respect.

Don’t expect this to be easy at the beginning. You will need to practice this new habit most days of the week, intentionally, before it becomes a regular part of your life.

 

3.       Enjoy the Outdoors:

Most of us feel connected to something higher than us when we are out in God’s fabulous natural world. I love walking along the seashore, lakes, and rivers. I love the grandeur of the mountains!  What do you enjoy?

Find where these sacred places are for you whether you live in the country or urban area. Make time for it. Go to these sites and just be. Soak in the beauty, wonder, and energy of the place.  Take deep breaths to quiet the mind so you can truly soak in the ambiance of the area. You will come out of these experiences at a higher vibrational level.

4.       Stay Open to Finding God within Yourself:

God is within you! God is as close as your breath and the beat of your heart. Going within helps you to find the oneness of God within you. Yes, you are worthy.  Yes, you are loveable.  Yes, you have a purpose in the world.

You might journal about how God is active in your life. Explore all the small and big things you have done that have made the world a better place whether that be for a person, pet, wild animal or for the whole earth.  Everything we do that blesses the earth, and all its inhabitants make a difference.

How do you know if it is God who is speaking to you?  It isn’t God if you are feeling shame. It isn’t God if it is destructive or violent. It isn’t God if you are trying to control or manipulate another person.

With practice, you will know the difference.

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5.       Look for God in each Person You Meet:

You meet all sorts of people every day. Try looking for God in each person you meet. It will change the way you see the world. It is tough to get angry with someone when you are open to the divine in them. Even if you can’t see God in another person, just know that God is there.

It is the holy within you that connects with the sacred in all people you meet, even people you don’t know. You know that you are part of God’s great family which includes every person on this earth.

6.       Stay open to Experiencing Spirit in Unexpected Places:

God will surprise you! Think for a moment of an experience of someone encouraging you or helping you, who you never realized cared about you.

Maybe it was the time a stranger stopped to give you directions. Perhaps it was the time when a person you had never met changed your flat tire. Maybe it was all the neighbors who brought you food when you were going through a rough time. Don’t focus just on people. Animals are amazing. Our pet dogs and cats intuitively know when you have a rough time.  Even wild animals warn us of wildfires. They let us know what kind of winters are to happen.

The most challenging gift from God is when it comes from a person you don’t like. It could be a sincere apology from a person who hurt you many years ago. An apology doesn’t mean you are required to become buddies with them. It can be enough to free you from the painful experience this person caused you many years ago.

 

7.       Find Music that Touches Your Soul:

What type of music touches your heart? Music can help you to get in touch with the inner part of your soul. I love Celtic music. What do you enjoy?

Music can take us to places in the heart that no words could ever hope to achieve. Music is universal. Everyone can appreciate music no matter where you come from, what you believe or how old you are.

There is spiritual music that is universal because it gets you in touch with the rhythms of life. Take time to listen to music that inspires you. Music is incredible when you are feeling down. Music can re-balance the body, heart, and mind.

Music takes you to your spiritual depths. It returns you to thin places where the holy and ordinary become one.  When you find yourself in thin places, you find joy in just being.

 

8.       Honor Your Body as a Sacred Place:

When you acknowledge that the Spirit is within you, it changes the way you see yourself. You begin to see yourself as valuable just for being you.

When you can feel the sacredness within you, you are called to take care of yourself. Imagine your body is your church, shrine, mosque, or any other holy structure. Our bodies need good food, exercise, relaxation, and meaningful work.

Our souls need loving relationships. Our emotional, spiritual and physical health needs attention, time and practice.

9.       Practise Radical Gratitude:

Practising radical gratitude opens the heart to the soul. Radical gratitude is the art of giving thanks to everything good in our lives. It can be:

·         The Sun that keeps us warm and helps to grow the food we eat

·         The Moon that controls the tides

·         Water that sustains life

·         Food that supports life on our planet

·         Friendship

·         Our pets

·         Animals, fish, insects e.c.t.

What else can you add to this list?

 

Practising this art of loving the world opens you up to experience the holy in your life. It is an excellent way for you to keep God in your day every day.  Our experience of the Spirit will become increasingly aware of the sacred the more you practice living with thanksgiving each day.

As you can see that connecting with God without going to church is achievable every day; but it does take practice.

It takes intentionality through slowing down, meditating, praying, enjoying the outdoors, looking for God within your self, being open to God in each person you meet, being open to experiencing God in an unexpected place, enjoy music that touches your soul, treat your body well and practice radical gratitude.

Staying attuned to God is a lifelong journey.  You are required to make these practices a regular part of your life if you want to live life to your best.

The best part is that you know deep within yourself you are never alone; the universe always holds you.

Yes, you don’t need a church to do this, but finding a community of like-minded people to encourage you on your journey is often helpful. But this can be any group. It doesn’t need to be a formal religious organization.

Find what you need to thrive with joy, hope, and purpose.  You are worth it!

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

This article was first published at REL Consultants

Free to be our “True” Christ Selves

Sermon – April 6th 2014

Lent V (Year A)

By Roland Legge

Ezekiel 37:1-14

John 11:1-45

 

 

We have all felt down in the dumps at some time in our lives. Some of us have experienced depression for short periods of time, while others have struggled with it throughout their lives.  Many people have found themselves unemployed, living with illness, broken marriages, and deaths in the family which sucks the life out of them. Minorities find themselves struggling to overcome racism, and bigotry. Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered and Bi-Sexual people live with the threat of losing their jobs, harassment and even death. It is at times like this, we can all relate to Ezekiel’s vision of the “dry bones”.  Where have you experienced dry bones in your life?

 

Ezekiel and his contemporaries were living in exile.  They had lost their land, homes, jobs, their national identity and even their faith.  They were very depressed. They lost much of their faith because they had been promised by God, in the story of the Exodus, to live in the Promised Land for the rest of their lives.   Now they were forced back into living in the wilderness. Many of them felt abandoned by God. When have you felt abandoned by God?

 

Ezekiel finds the courage and faith to demand that these dry bones, his community of refugees, to come back to life.  In our Gospel reading Jesus is also calling on his community to find new life through the story of raising Lazarus from the dead.

 

Jesus and Ezekiel were calling their people into transformative ministries that would show us the way to the Kin-dome of God.  Transformation can only happen when are able to fully let go of all that is holding us back.  The story of Lazarus being raised from the dead was told to help us prepare for Jesus resurrection which is the key to all us finding new life and hope.

 

In order to be transformed we all need something to shake us to the core.  Something that will open our hearts and minds to seeing the world as it really is and how we have truly been part of it.  Something that will break down all the walls around ourselves that have been built up to protect us from some threat in the past that is no longer serving us.

 

I wonder how Lazarus resuscitation from the dead changed his life.  It must have shook him up. I would like to think that it inspired him even more to be a faithful follower of Jesus even if it meant risking his life.  How would it have changed your life?

 

For the followers of Jesus, it was his death and resurrection that really shook them up.  In the days between his death and resurrection many of his disciples were just about ready to give up.  Yet once they realized that Jesus was with them in a new way, they found courage in themselves they never knew they had.  If you were in their shoe, would the resurrection of Jesus shake you up? Think of a time when you found courage to face something that had been haunting you for a long time.

 

We all need to be shook up at different times in our lives.  It is so tempting to stay with the devil we do know than the devil we don’t know.  God through prophets like Ezekiel and Jesus call upon to see beyond our fear and lack of vision into something new and awesome.

As I have told you before the end of my first marriage was a difficult and transformative time in my life.  If it wasn’t for my first wife blowing up just after our 5th wedding anniversary because I had given her the wrong color of roses and the wrong number I might have stayed in that unhealthy relationship much longer.  I suddenly realized that I needed to make a dramatic change in my life and stand up to her.  Up to then I was living a world of make believe always thinking I could fix my wife into treating me well.  Thanks to this dramatic wakeup call I have become a much healthier person.  What have been those wake up experiences for you?

 

Can you imagine living in Rwanda during the time of the Genocide?  The people of Rwanda and the world had a huge wake up call.  Life as they knew it had to change.  The Hutu’s and Tutsis needed to learn to forgive each other and begin to work together again.  This was going to be a very difficult tasks because of the horrific violence.

 

The world also woke up to the reality of how imperialism can destroy a nation well after the occupiers had left.  Janet L Parker while visiting Rwanda on behalf of the World Council of Churches learned what had started this hatred between the two tribe.  She says:

Listening to our hosts, we learned that the animosity between the Hutus and the Tutsis began during the colonial era, when the minority Tutsis were selected by the Belgians to rule over the majority Hutu. The colonizers, including priests, actively cultivated a mythology of Tutsi superiority. Tom Ndahiro of the Rwandan Human Rights Commission told us that the roots of the genocide began with verbal “murder” after the Hutus gained control following independence. Tutsis were called inyenzi—cockroaches—for years before 1994, and labeled “the enemy within.” A genocidal ideology is progressive, slipping in under people’s defenses, inflaming grudges, arousing paranoia, and relying on rewards and punishment to motivate participation in genocide. We heard stories of the complete breakdown of human civilization.

Found at Sojo.net:   http://sojo.net/preaching-the-word/can-these-bones-live?parent=41105  Written by Janet L Parker

 

 

This shake up has challenged the people of Rwanda to truly share power with all people of their country.  Churches began to come alive again.  Relationships are being re-built between Hutus and Tutsis.  Slowly it is becoming more important to identify as a Rwandan rather than the tribe you came from.  The people of Rwanda have shown great faith by coming back together and working hard at creating a just and compassionate country.

 

But has the world been changed.  People working in the United Nations and many NGO’s have seen the light and hold our governments to account such as Desmond Tutu and Romeo Dallaire.  Yet it seems that the powers in the world particularly, the United States, Canada, Russia, China and the European Economic Union only seem concerned if it is directly affecting their economic/ political interest.  Thousands and thousands of people are killed in Syria and the world community doesn’t seem willing to do much about it.  Violence continues to infect the Sudan and the world doesn’t seem to care.  Thousands of people are continuing to die from HIV/AIDS even though we can now manage this disease.  What horrific event will it take for the world to wake up?

 

God will continue to use our mistakes to get our attention, if only we would finally pay attention.  Do you have a bad habit?  What would it take to change your behaviour?

 

As we approach Easter let us remember the wisdom of the Cross.  When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable even if God’s love results in our physical death humanity is changed for the better.  When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable even when the love of God forces us to face some of our own demons we are changed. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable even if it forces us to free ourselves from ego, our false selves, we discover our Christ selves or true selves.  When we find our Christ self we become free to live out how the Spirit desires us to live loving, generous, kind, wise, strong and courageous lives.

 

Go and be your Christ self.  Go and make a difference.  Go and help bring the Earth back into harmony.

 

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