I have been keeping a journal for some time, but since I started this blog as a vehicle for articulating my thoughts on life as a Christian, the journal only receives attention when I feel somehow disconnected from God and from who I really am. I wrote the following entry yesterday.
I wonder if I am becoming more aware of my ego when it is in control. I am thinking more and more often that I have to let it go and to accept what God has planned for me. I spoke with Richard on the phone last evening and we had one of our nice conversations about God and spirituality. He asked me when I felt connected with God and I had to honestly answer that the occasions were not as often as I would like. I did think at the time, as I was scrambling for an answer, that my ego is the biggest obstacle to allowing awareness of God within and around me to flood my consciousness. I simply must let go and be like the tree that accepts its lot and keeps its beauty and nobility and its joy.
One of the biggest banquets for the ego takes place in the dining hall of relationships. Why do we see others as “the other” and not as “us”? Why do we relate to those around us in dualism rather than as brothers and sisters equally “beloved of God”? Why do we have to judge and blame and point our mental fingers rather than modeling the tree that welcomes the wind and the rain and the sun patiently, stoically, and without complaint or agenda?
It probably doesn’t matter where we begin: with humility, with love, with forgiveness, just as long as we begin to see that these “virtues” are the reality of God and that everything else—materialism, conflict, superiority and inferiority, dominance and submission—are illusion. From illusion comes suffering and pain; from reality comes joy. From illusion comes grasping and struggling and rushing and stress; from reality comes silence and peace and creativity.
We must see who we are, without guilt, without shame, without pride, without defensiveness. We must accept who we are—who God made us to be—with humility and gratitude and love. As Henri Nouwen said, we are not what we do and we are not what others think of us. We are the beloved son and daughters of God; we are God’s beloved.
I think that I should write like this every day so that I am constantly reminded of these truths until they become part of me, until I see who I am, who God made me to be. I will forget, again and again, as I do now, but what is important is that I know I forget and in knowing, I bring myself back to God.