Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simple Spirituality

Sometimes I don’t get it! I don’t understand why there is so much drama surrounding the spiritual search. Monstrous buildings, obscene budgets and rich men in expensive suits or elaborate vestments. On the other extreme are self-loathing and ascetic mortification. What is all this drama about? What do these theatrics have to do with God?

Spirituality is really quite simple. In fact, it is the simplest thing in the world. We are looking for inner peace, but the one place that people don’t look is in their souls. Instead they look inside buildings or inside books. They look outside in people or religions or things or places. But where else would you look for inner peace than where that inner people must ultimately reside?

People are looking for meaning and purpose. These are values of the heart. Where else would one look for them but the heart? But people look in the external world of things, work and causes.

People look for someone to look up to, but they don’t look up! They look out at politicians and celebrities, gurus or saints. They look around, searching and searching and searching. The truth is that the One you are searching for is already present. No need to seek. Just open your eyes.

To see God the best place to start is to look at the image of God. Not painted icons or carved idols but living humans who are the image of God. Look long and deep into the image of God and you see the One the image reflects.

The image is not God, but the image reflects our gaze toward God. It is an Escherean mirror reflecting infinite regressions toward God. Never-ending of course, or else God would not be God. But when the mirror is clear enough, it can see beyond the horizon into the throne room of God.

The end of the spiritual search is that there is no search - at least not a search that you make. You are already found. The door is already open; your prayers are already answered. It is just a matter of stopping long enough to see. Just turn your eyes around, and the search is over. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!

Peace abundant and full resides at the center. Truth surrounds us and enfolds us. Meaning permeates us. Living water flows up from within into eternal life. Christ is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, Creator and Created, the Savior in the form of the one who is saved, the Word beyond words.

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