How to Change the World – Part Two

Greetings, friends…

This is Part Two of–and the conclusion to–the small blog series I began last week.

From Part One (last week)…

Instead of trying to change the world to make it better for you (or to just give you a break), why not focus on trying to change you and your own life? And to create your own breaks? God has given each of us the freewill and agency–the instrumentality–to change. And He wants to partner with us in this. Writing from my own experience, my first task (in my life with God) is to partner with Him to set my own life in order.

And now, Part Two…

Today, I’d like to look at some concrete ways in which we can begin to partner with God to bring increasing order, integratedness-of-belief, and congruency-of-being to our own lives. (Note: Doing this will help us also stop meddling in the lives of those around us!)

Concrete Way I: Speak to Your Heart

Years ago, I wrote “You Are…” for a dear friend of mine. I wanted this one to hear these things as I and she spoke them over her. Since then, I’ve spoken these very same words over many people (including myself). In fact, I speak these over me on a fairly regular basis. In writing this post, I’m taking the opportunity to do that very thing once again! For the next week or so, speak these words over you every morning (and see what happens to you as a result):

You Are…

My dear friend… May you hear these words, for they speak of you and to who you are:

You are fierce, you are powerful, you are strong.

You are a force to be reckoned with.

Remember this: You are at your strongest when you’re lifting the spirits of another. Remember, too, you’re far more winsome, beautiful, intelligent, and resourceful than you think you are.

Far more so.

It’s never too late to live into the person God recreated you to be: His son (or daughter); and it’s never too late to be the warrior of lovingkindness and the awakened slave-saint of goodness, rightwiseness, and deep, everlasting happiness Jesus lived, suffered, was crucified, died, rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father for you to be and become.

Sadly, most people in this life are asleep: Asleep in their mindlessness, their self-centeredness, their sin-sickness, their false personas, and their God-self-and-other-separateness–just as you and I once were. Lazily wandering through life (and, in many ways, by themselves), they stumble over one delusion after another, one craving after another, one crisis after another.

Awaken them!

Awaken them all by being who you are and by letting the weightiness of your happy, playful countenance point them gently to God our Source–the One who is The Source of All Life, Wakefulness, and Gladness.

Death isn’t what’s sad, O dear one. What’s sad is that so very few people ever really live. Join God in helping those you love to awaken to the gift of life Jesus is to them. And awaken, too, to the precious life-gift they are to those around them.

Indeed, inside you, inside me, inside everyone are the seeds of world class greatness just waiting to sprout, grow, fruit, and flower. God planted them there. Let them be watered with life’s most blissful joys and its deepest heartaches; and let them be fertilized with life’s greatest victories and its most devastating losses. Why run from pain, O dear one, when God can use it to bring about such illumination, renewal, and whole-heartedness to you and to those around you? To become “joy incarnate,” you must fist traverse the valleys of sorrow. While working to end suffering (and its sources), don’t run from it.. or from them. Rather, stay put, and stay the course; you and everyone around you will be the better (and richer) for it.

May who you are, in all your God-given resplendence, be drawn forth by the loving-kindness of the One who not just sees and knows you thoroughly, but–like water in a sponge–dwells with you intimately and loves you through and through. To know you intimately is to love you. In fact, these two qualities, knowing you and loving you, are symbiotic: One cannot (at least in its fullest sense) exist without the other. God knows you thoroughly; He also loves you through and through. Open yourself up to others so they can know and love you, too. Everyone will benefit from this.

Don’t give up doing what you love; rather, mine the love in and from what you do. Remember this: It’s the great enthusiasms; the risky journeys; the soul-immersing searches, questions, curiosities, and heartaches–and not so much the temporal acquisitions–that spur purity-, wholeness-, fullness-, revelliousness-, and revelience-of-heart.

Know this: In life, you’ll never be better than anyone else; in the same way, you’ll never be less.

In all things, and at all times, be happy; don’t be afraid to let others see you laugh or cry, or to let them feel the weight of who you are. May your light (tiny as it may be) be a guide; may your roof be another’s floor; and may you have the kind of courageous, loving humility that inspires those around you to give themselves away to God, life, and those around them.

When you inspire those you love to “become love,” you inspire them to live out the greatest of all life-adventures: The ever-deepening experience of being known thoroughly and loved through and through by God Almighty and then responding by loving God back, loving themselves well (read, “ordinately”), loving the people around them well (ordinately), and loving God’s creation well (ordinately)—all at the right times, in the right ways, in the right spaces and places, and with just the right measures, pressures, and leverages. This is fullness, O dear one–a shedding of tears kind of fullness; and it’s a fullness no amount of earthly fame, fortune, power, or cultural influence can create. It is this integratedness of being–this transcendent uniting with Papa, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the whole of creation, that creates not just a life worth living but a life-giving legacy worthy of those created, crafted, and groomed by God to live:  As His unfolding lights… as His unique image-bearers… as His lovers.

With lowliness of soul, O dear one, push forward–beyond your fears–and just be you. Go forth, and just be awesome.

Amen, and AMEN!!

Concrete Way Two: Move Your Body

Every day, for twenty-minutes, do something physical:  Garden, go for a walk, etc. And invite God to join you in it with you.

Concrete Way Three: Take a Cold Shower or an Ice Bath (e.g., do something every day that makes you feel really uncomfortable)

One of the greatest skills you can ever develop in your life is the one that will enable you to stay completely present in a difficult situation–especially, an emotionally difficult situation. To help you do this, start taking a cold shower or an ice bath at least once a day. Even immersing yourself in ice water for a minute will do wonders for you not just for you physical health but to boost your ability to not have to change an uncomfortable situation . Practice each day trying to extend the time in which you stay immersed. Even extending it just a few seconds a day will, over time, add up, and, yes, it will do wonders for you.

Way Four: Pray The Lord’s Prayer, aka The Our Father Prayer

When you wake up each morning, begin the day by reciting The Lord’s Prayer. This prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13 in the New Testament. After prying The Lord’s Prayer, pray The Serenity Prayer, which reads as follows [credit: Reinhold Niebuhr]: “O God… Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage and gumption to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

While doing the above will be challenging, it’s not out of your reach–I guarantee this. Do your best, too, to have fun with all this.

Pace to you…

Daver

Today’s MRL Maxim: “Having fun is at least 51% of the point of doing anything… even laying your life down for another person.”

Today’s MRL Call-to-action: Do all the above every day for the next seven days and see what happens in and to you as a result. Also, pay attention to what happens in those around you. What you see, hear, feel, and experience might just surprise you.