Well, it didn’t happen. I have to say honestly I’m a little disappointed. I like some of my friends I know looked around and thought, “Did it happen?” The writings in the Bible say that no one will know when the end time comes. The date and time like the flood will remain unknown until it happens.
I heard all the jokes in the stores and people laughing and making light of it. I thought then in those moments. I don’t think that is something that I could joke about. It’s kind of like tempting fate I think, perhaps that is what they were trying to do or perhaps the thought of it made them nervous.
Where was I? Those moments when I woke up in a tent with all my family around me and the quiet sounds of nature waking up I wondered, am I here for another 1000 days? Am I gone? Are all the evil people gone? It was a distinctly odd feeling to sit and ponder those things. It was foggy in the morning too, which added to the mystery of what plane of existence I might be on. The quiet that comes with an early morning fog is still, green and full of life in potential. At that moment I wondered what that life in potential was going to be.
I got up and went to the house at the farm we were staying at and there were the people cracking beers at 7 am and I thought well I’m either in the bad group or it didn’t happen. I’m going with it didn’t happen.
My initial feelings about the rapture not happening told me a lot. They told me my faith is strong, that when it does happen I will be fine. That in striving , not always succeeding, but trying to live a good life, making amends when I mess up and being truly sorry that the rapture is not something I fear. We have all made mistakes. Some people may feel that some of those mistakes are just far too big or plentiful to be forgiven. God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness are greater than any concept we can imagine. We are limited by our humaness our thoughts of the limitations of our own forgiveness. When we make amends and are truly sorry, God knows.
Mr. Camping may have been wrong in his dates but I thank him for stirring up the thoughts of rapture. It made us think, it made us aware, it made us, if only for a moment, think about God…and for a moment perhaps think about what God thinks about us. For some that may make all the difference
© Adrienne McLeod 2011
- Rapture (jmwisdom.wordpress.com)
- My Final Thoughts On The #Rapture Craze (simuliustusetpeccator.com)
- Rapture Predictor Harold Camping: Apocalypse Rescheduled for October 21 [The Rapture] (gawker.com)
When I was young and in school, we took foreign language. Being raised in Minnesota, we had the option of Spanish, French or German. The first language I started to learn was German. I was in I think 4th grade. I remember the teacher, I remember the feel and look of the book. What I learned of it? I can’t remember. The second language I went for was Spanish. It went okay but the rote memorization of it was brutal. I was only 12, in 7th grade, and rote memorization of that language didn’t work. I tried French first at college but… nah, too flouncy for me. So back I went to German and to my surprise it was still there. What the heck? The professor said to me then, to learn a language well you must “think” in the language your learning, not the language you know. Haven’t taken German in more than 20 years but it still sticks with me enough to converse with some German speaking people .
That was one of the best lessons I ever learned in life. And I apply it in many area’s of my life including spirituality. Learning it, is in effect, being the change you want to see in your world. When we are very young we learn for the first time, everything else is relearning.
So why are they different? When we are first learning and living we are learning in the living of it. What will always stick with us best is the first learnings this is why the German stuck with me. This is also why it is so hard to shake the learned chronic negative thinking patterns carried on by dysfunctions learned in our youth. This is why raising children with faith and spirituality is so important.
My first question to the professor when he said we should think in the language we want to learn was, “How do you think in a language you do not know?” And he said you use only that language. You learn the most important questions or statements by rote so they are in your head and heart so firmly that it’s there for you at all times. In the case of language those key things would be, I don’t understand, please slow down and How do you say “this” in German? You can’t learn German in English, you must learn German in German. Here in Ontario, we would call that Language Immersion.
Baptism is a symbolic Spiritual Immersion. Whether it is carried forward is the responsibility of those of us witnessing a baptism. We are not to become baptized and then think the work is done. When we surround ourselves or our children with the principals of living a good life spiritually eg. kindness, compassion, responsibility, respect, faith etc. we are immersing them and ourselves. We are baptizing ourselves in the life of spirituality and that path.
Spirituality isn’t a part of my day, it is in all of my day. I live my life from that spot. I surround myself with friends, family, reading, art and music that accentuates it. I think from the spirituality inside of me . All else comes from within that to the outside. It doesn’t mean speaking spirituality all the time, though sometimes it does happen that way as like attracts like, it means utilizing the principals until the meaning of one day at a time is the same as now, every moment.
Part of what makes living spirituality so important is in doing it everyday and it’s being an integral part of your life, not something on the outside or extra curricular. Not a set aside outside hour of ones day. Once it takes hold, like a language, you can go at it from the outside in and inside out. One just needs to be really sure that nothing is lost in translation. And sometimes as with most of us, the translation to others does get lost, but that is only because we step outside of ourselves.
In education and learning it is common to hear use it or lose it. I choose to use it. To live it and to become and be a spiritual being. I would much rather use it than lose it!
©Adrienne McLeod 2011
“I believe in all that is, seen and unseen.”
In my years growing up going to church and being part of a really great spiritually aware family, I always felt at odds with myself. On the one hand I believe in energy, healing and miracles, I believe in the force of good and evil, I believe in negative and positive, I believe that God is in all creation. On the other hand there is the “these things are wrong” doctrines and thought. As we are growing up and begin to question things around us that we see we also begin to ask questions about the unseen.
One of my favorite parts of the church services that I have experienced is when we all say together the Nicene Creed and Confession of Sins. Mostly I think because it states what we do believe and it’s a group admission that we all screw up. (When we’re growing up we do this lots – screw up – and so the fact that grown ups are admitting this with you is a comforting thing.) Thank goodness everyone seems to believe in forgiveness of sin!
When I was very young I attended a private Christian school, my parents were excluded because they wouldn’t “sign” that they believed every dotted “i” and crossed “t” in the Bible. The clergy from our church- which included my father- were excluded from teaching or ministering there for reasons I still don’t know. I am very grateful for the people I met and the fellowship to this day with some of the people at that school. I am grateful for the experience of it because it gave me, along with my family, and church a basis for Faith. What it also did was give me the desire to make peace between extremes. It saddens me that there is so much division even within Christianity.
There is this part of me that says to myself…perhaps if we all laid out everything, each “denomination” and church, everything that we believe and pulled what is in common with everyone we could come together and celebrate. To focus on division only brings division.
1st Corinthians 1:10-11
I appeal to you brothers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
From one end of the spectrum to the other, Christianity seems to be finding it’s way back to itself, to oneness. I pray that continues because there are so many things to be thankful for, so many gifts, so many wonders and miracles every day around us.
I have heard those that live in fear say what if we’re all wrong. But truly, what if we’re all right? What if Believing in One God with all your heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself are the whole of the truth and The Commandments the way to live a life that brings joy and contentment, and all the rest of it ways to try to explain those concepts?
Do not divide yourselves over things that are for God to judge. But come together. For whenever 2 or more are gathered…
©Adrienne McLeod 2011
In the Gospel of Luke this phrase appears. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” It is the promise to all of us that life does not end that our spirit and energy live on if we believe. Many of us go to seek the living among the dead. We visit grave sites, we mourn, we lose heart. For those of us who have faith that eternal life goes on why do we do this to ourselves?
When my Mother passed away, I remember telling my children she had passed away. And the youngest of the four said. “Can we go see Nana?” and I said, “No, baby, she’s passed away. We won’t see her again in this life, she has gone to live somewhere else.” And truly I believe that. She is not gone she is living somewhere else. She is with us in all that we do, in us and what we have learned from her. Her voice is still with me and echo’s in my ear sometimes when I lay in that space between wakefulness and sleep.
God is in us, around us. Living in us. Jesus died for our sins, through the story of his life and the telling and re telling of his life and death we are saved in faith. That knowing that truthfully, not even the darkness of death can block out the energy of light. That faith, that belief is true of us all, everlasting life. Our spirit, our energy, our life goes on. We are but a shell in our mortal form, of all that we are in spirit.
It is only in Luke that this phrase appears. Why do you look for the living among the dead? In faith, we have the gift of life, in the story of Easter we have proof that what we know, is true. Whether we be as Thomas or as a disciple or as a follower of the disciples. We have the gift of life. I do not believe because of the story of Easter; I believe! And the story of Easter, of Jesus, verifies it for me.
If we say the world is limited to what was known of the world, we exclude (most of us) ourselves. If we include the whole world to encompass us then we include all the world. You choose. For God so loved the world!!!!!!!!!!!!! Halleluiah! He is Risen! The Lord has risen, indeed!
©Adrienne McLeod 2011
As those of us in the Christian faith travel through Lent we are bid to remember and meditate on the Love that God gave to the world. Today on Palm Sunday and through Holy Week, we are to reflect on the meaning of giving up a life for another person. A single life for the life of the whole world.
I think for many of us it is so hard to comprehend the magnitude of a gift like that. What was that like for Jesus to knowingly, not just just spur of the moment,go step by step toward death toward pain towards sacrifice? What was that like as a mother to see her child, special as he was, walk down the path chosen for him? And for a father? In Christian tradition it is God that is the father of Jesus. Try to imagine how the step father felt. Joseph could have no more loved Jesus if he were his own.
My husband and I were talking to a friend a few weeks ago. This friend of ours had an organ transplant not so long ago. About a year now. He said that when the testing came back and the donor was a conclusive match and that the following day he would be given a chance at life that for sometime he had lost that the emotion was overwhelming. The thought that someone had died and because of that he would have a new life was so overwhelming that he broke down in tears. On another level the donor was not just a donor to him but for others as well. The nurses and doctors recognize the odds and miraculousness of that. The nurse told him straight out that this was a miracle. He didn’t need a nurse to tell him that though. Even in the retelling of his experience you could see how deeply it affects his life.
The donor that provided the tissue to our friend made a choice, knowingly, to donate and help the lives of others if he should die. As a parent while I am looking at my children happy healthy and in one piece I can’t imagine the feeling that the donors family must have felt. In imagining their childs body being taken apart to give life to others. A wonderful beautiful selfless act of love. Giving of one’s self is something that any parent would be proud of their child for. But at the cost of pain. It had to be torture to be pulled between gratitude and pain. So suddenly.
To be the recipient of such an amazing gift, that the very magnitude of it causes emotions that the body can not contain, is something to meditate on. That is the depth to which we are to understand what Easter is about. We are asked to understand a depth that most of us can not fathom experiencing. I know that in our friends description and the emotions that went with it that my understanding of it is so small.
That God so loved the world he gave his only son so that we could live. The bigger concept here is about Faith. Complete and total conviction of Faith. The human aspects of emotion that a person giving their life for the greater good of mankind would feel would have to have been outweighed by the complete faith that this was the right thing to do. The faith that He knew to be true, not just contemplated but knew in His very being. That it was that it was only the beginning of new life. That birth whether into the next life or into a life we have now is as it has been since the beginning a painful experience.
Would you give your life? Knowingly? Almost all of us who are parents have the instinct to save our child. If they fell in a river we would dive in after them. If they were in a burning house we would go in after them to save them. Not thinking oh I might die. Just on instinct. What Easter is about is not that kind of emergency situation. It is about knowingly walking into a situation where death is eminent and saving someone else. Those that have gone off to battle in war, know that feeling. Firefighters know that feeling. Most times though, even with those jobs it is a might and they don’t walk in knowing.
To know that someone had to die to save your life or for your life to come back to complete fullness is an overwhelming feeling. Knowing that someone chose to die for that same purpose spiritually is really something we should meditate on and cultivate thought toward. They aren’t the same thing. As overwhelming as the emotions of receiving a donor organ is how much more should we understand spiritually the gift of eternal life? So as we travel down our spiritual path during Holy Week I will be taking some time to meditate on the absolute powerfulness, awesomeness of the gift we have been given. What about you?
©Adrienne McLeod 2011
Compassion is key part of spirituality. What is compassion and what is not compassion? What is a compassionate act and what is not? These are questions that come up probably on a day to day basis for most of us. Starting in our home. Do we have compassion for those closest to us?
Compassion does not mean doing for someone else what they can do for themselves. Sometimes the only way and best kind of compassion or “mercy” we can show another is to refrain from injuring them further.
The definition of compassion is in English : “a feeling of deep sympathy or sorrow for another who is stricken with misfortune, accompanied by the strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” The oxford dictionary goes on to include the word pity. The word compassion in the English language leaves much to be desired. The word pity is not one that many of us say and have a good feeling about. Pity is not something we desire, nor is it something that feels good (by English definition) to do.
I have often found it useful to look to older languages to describe words that do not seem to be adequately full in their definition in the English language. In looking to Hebrew and Greek where the English has interpreted the word Compassion from the Bible there are in actuality several different words used for the term that we as English speakers have condensed into one word.
The Hebrew words that have been transferred to English as compassion in the Biblical sense mean something slightly different. Those words mean to show mercy in most of the Old Testament readings. There is a Greek word translated to English as compassion from the New Testament where it means to be moved in the gut and that is in regards to it causing an emotion of feeling that moves us to do something.
The exploration of compassion has really grown in western culture because of increased awareness and enlightenment from the east. It saddens me that we could have been so much further ahead. Truly how far is Rome from the east? So much was made of dividing and separating the world. Christianity just on its own is so incredibly different from one end to the other. Such a broad spectrum of beliefs.
As we separate and keep distant from others within our faith, as well as outside the Christian faith, as Christians we are no different from those Pharisee’s in the time of Jesus when we are like that and they pushed Jesus away and shunned him because they didn’t know and didn’t understand. How will we all be one in our world as long as that continues. Learn from the division. Wasn’t that the message of Babylon? Wasn’t that God’s frustration in dividing us all. Perhaps Babylon occurred so that as we came back together we could heal ourselves with the things remaining we have in common.
Proverbs says that we are to not dismiss wisdom but to learn from it. The first few chapters of Proverbs is dedicated to that very topic. It says that we are to learn from everything we can. That to ask for enlightenment and then ignore it is in fact rejecting an answer that God sends. Even if we are to entertain what is or is not part of compassion for us, we need to remain open to hear what is said and to let everyone be our teacher. In truth we find that we have more in common than we may think. Think about it!
©Adrienne McLeod 2011
Spirituality is the job part of being religious, or spiritual. It is an action. It is the visible evidence of our beliefs. Spiritual growth is something that we can all work on together. Each of us in our own ways utilize so many of the same techniques only they have different names. I have my beliefs, the belief that I know, for me, is true. It may or may not be the same for you. Even within families spirituality the act of living out our beliefs day to day is different. Spirituality is not a secular definition. It does not belong to any one group. It belongs to all of us.
It is the universalism of Spirituality that I embrace, the universalism I learn from, love and try to practice in every aspect of my life so that it represents my beliefs and faith. Your Faith may be different than mine but the one thing we all have in common is that we all have it.
I know many people to whom I owe so much to in my discoveries of my faith and spirituality. My hope is that they too will share in the discussions on this site.
For Christians, remember that Jesus did not cut himself off from the rest of the world he embraced it and loved it so much that he made his life about saving it. He sent Paul to do the same. This page is not about differences. It is about searching for what we have in common. If you are Native and you pray to the Creator or Tunkashila it is about how you commune and live out that path. Not the religion itself. For Bhudists I would ask you to share the same. HH the Dalai Lama, thank you, I have learned so much from you. This isn’t about Religions it is about living a spiritual life.
For all, please remember that this is a place to celebrate being a spiritual being, being a person who lives that out day to day and not just on a day they go to worship. It is not a place to debate what is right or wrong. It is a place to learn from one another. Please show respect for all.