Sunday, November 25, 2012

My List

I do love scribbly gums...  Seemed a nice way to make an image of my "list"
Well, I promised in THIS post, that I would come back and add my own "list" of stuff that has seemed to me, to show a glimmer of the ultimate...  If you've just stumbled into the conversation, we've been tossing around ideas on what "authentic spirituality" might be.  (Seems that's a question I ask a lot!).

Some of my wonderful blogging friends added their thoughts to the previous post, and ideas included intuitions of "something more", of connectedness to something greater, and ideals beyond physically tangible reality.  I can relate very much to all of those.  Here is my little list of the kinds of things in my own life that have seemed to touch on something "deeper":

  • Profound family moments...  the birth of a baby is one example that is clear in my mind.  After my daughter, Hannah, was born I remember watching her asleep and feeling absolutely awed by both the presence, and the profound significance of this tiny person.  A whole personality, a whole life, a whole impact on the world around her yet to come...

    There's also just "something" about knowing someone closely enough to really glimpse the infinity within them - & I guess family, and those friends who are family too, is where that happens best.
  • Hard times.  It has been during the sharpest traumas in my life, that I have been most aware that there is something more.  Call it a "survival" mechanism, if you will - but the most difficult moments, when I have allowed them, have been moments when grace also flowed.  There is something about loss that highlights those things with real value.

    I remember hearing the father of a girl born with multiple and profound disabilities describing the shock, and ensuing challenges of her birth with these disabilities as both the worst thing he had ever been through, and the best.  That comment really resonated with me, and I've never forgotten it.  There is something about hard times that calls us to be better than our natural selves, and perhaps even to call on resources outside of ourselves.  To me, this is spiritual.
  • Grace.  As in, giving out (and just as importantly, receiving,) what is good, regardless of whether it is earned or deserved.  Kindness and forgiveness can change everything, and are spiritual.
  • Profound change that begins in the heart - as I believe ALL profound change does.  I can think of a few times in my life, where I was suddenly able to "see" things very differently - and from that moment both my outlook and circumstances were never the same.  To me, these are "God-moments".

    On a side note, I think this is why "change" that is forced or legislated, without a change in attitude amongst people, only leads to more creative ways to flout the system.  I'm not suggesting legislation against such things as prejudice and violence is not necessary;  however if there is not an accompanying groundswell of public "heart" behind it, legislation simply becomes complicated and ineffective.
  • And finally (and I'm not really sure what to call this one) there have been moments, not involving a big realisation of anything I could put into words, or a change of attitude - yet it has seemed that God was present, and a situation was changed as a result.  Perhaps this is a part of what the New Testament writings were referring to, when they talked about "The Kingdom of Heaven" invading Earth.

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