But Why? Moments from Rev. June
What is it that we want to do? If we were asked, “what is the purpose of spiritual unfoldment or spiritual growth?” what would we say? As we look around the world we see people arguing and comparing their beliefs. We, ourselves, have probably read hundreds of books and gone to workshops and classes and gathered more ideas, more beliefs and more information. We understand our lives so much more than we did before we began. We can now make more sense out of what our experience has been. Is that it? Is that the purpose? We discover that we can change our experience. It that the purpose?
Can the purpose be told? Can we take the purpose into our minds as information – to put with the other information that we have. Can we file away “purpose” with everything else that we have in our mental files. Can we even understand our purpose or the purpose of doing spiritual work?
Yes, we can improve our lives and the lives of others. We can live our lives in a more satisfying way. We can probably improve our health, our finances, our relationships. Of course, many of those things can be improved with psychological knowledge. So, what is the difference? How is a deep relationship with God different from using information or using God’s life-giving energy to improve our lives?
We could make a list of qualities we might gain. We could probably make a list of how our lives would improve. We would, for instance, find a freedom that we haven’t known before. That freedom is, at least in part, the way we discover who we really are. But we don’t find it in information. So, even there, that isn’t it.
There is an inner longing that we try to fill in nearly all our activities. We try to fill it with information about it. We try to fill it with experiences. We try to avoid IT and live to belong to this group or that. But, even in the avoidance, the longing is there. It is there in the longing to belong. It is there is the hope of love.
That longing can be frightening. Somewhere inside, we know what it will take. We know that all our fine information and all our experiences cannot and will not fill that longing. They might inform our steps toward what we are called to do. They might give us direction and hints. But they are not IT.
IT is beyond the mind and the language of the mind. IT is a trusting in and of something we can’t define. IT is life. Perhaps we find it in the spaces between our words. Perhaps we find it in the world beyond the walls of our minds or sight or hearing or touching or tasting. And, yet, even those are involved. We see beyond the flat surfaces where our sight usually stops. We hear between the sounds that come to our ears. We are touched in ways that our senses have not known. And, yet, we discover that these same senses can participate in the longing.
We can’t know what purpose we might discover if we open to God. But one thing is certain. We are known. And, whatever else we realize, we find there is love. Love is not a quality we have. It is not a description of anything. It isn’t psychological knowledge or the fulfillment of our dreams for a new house or a different job. Those things might come, but not as the fulfillment itself. It isn’t even for the spiritual gifts.
The longing is a call. It is the deep calling to us. It is a hole in the heart that can be filled with nothing but God. That longing is there. We think it can be filled with something that we don’t have. But, in the end, it can only be filled with opening ourselves to the unknown and by becoming a space, a fertile place, where something beyond what we know can take root. It takes a willingness to be deeply touched in those places of hurt and pain and loss and pride and fear and hatred and judgment. It takes those things. But what it really takes is opening at the heart of our longing and allowing. With our minds and hearts and senses facing Godward, and, even in our not knowing, say, “Yes.”
Why do it? The world needs us to do it. But that isn’t enough. The reasons can be listed. But reasons are not enough. We do it because we are hungry and something in us knows. It knows because its own home is written in the hunger. Our completion is in what feels like emptiness to our minds as they are now. And we find that emptiness is fullness and fullness must give of itself.
And fullness, itself, is a moving river. And, we, ourselves, are that river.
Rev. June C. Miller (c)