Friday, October 31, 2014

Silent Unity

After leaving facebook, my intention was to write and post at least one blog per week. Unfortunately, my intentions do not always equate to reality. Most professional writers encourage would-be writers to attempt writing every day, regardless of how you feel or whether or not you have anything to say.

I'm somewhat of an anomaly in this respect. I began writing not because I aspired to be a "writer", but simply because I wanted to express aspects of faith that I could not necessarily communicate as a minister in a church staff setting. In fact, that's exactly how the concept of  Naked Theology came to be.

I envisioned opening a forum for thought and dialogue that allowed people to not only think, but to be able to express what they thought without fear of judgement, rejection or alienation. Being "naked" in thought is a state of mind in which we are able to freely express thoughts, beliefs and opinions without the “cultural clothing” that hinders us being who we are.

Within a theological context, this means that we can be "naked" within the context of faith and spirituality and comfortable with the questions, uncertainties and doubts that sometimes come with it. All this to say; if I don't feel like writing, I don't write. If there is not something within me that I feel deeply, or feel would encourage someone else to enter the process of Naked Theology, I don't try an force it. I don't write unless I have something to say.

So, do I have something to say this morning? I don't know. But I felt like writing and that's half the battle.

Over the last few years, I've begun to spend more time in silence. Most of this time is spent in contemplative prayer and meditation, but also in times of just observing silence for the sake of silence. Disconnected from the typical distractions that usually fill the day, these times have become holy to me. I cherish these times, not because I feel the need to escape, but because this is when I find true fulfillment. In fact, one might argue that the avoidance of silence is society’s chosen method of escape and facing our true selves. For I am beginning to realize that when we allow ourselves to enter into deep inner silence, it is only then that we come face to face who we truly are.

We live in a culture where silence is often to be avoided, uncomfortable and even feared. Silence equates to idleness. Emptiness. Non-productiveness. We struggle to find anything to stifle the the silence in our lives, and in our effort to fill the void, we distract ourselves from true peace. I'm learning that silence takes focus, discipline and patience. It's not easy and takes a conscious effort of our mind, spirit and physical body.

But as we allow ourselves to settle into silence and all external distractions are shed, we delve into the only thing that exists: ourselves and our spiritual connection with God. And it is here that we find that ourselves are in complete union with God.

The gift of ourselves comes from God. Unique. Individual. Isolated. Apart from God, our self is the only true possession that we have and in recognizing this, we can then begin to see that the external factors of life really have no control over us. We can do our best to fill our lives with distractions that we believe bring peace, joy and make us better, but in reality, we only inadvertently lure ourselves further from the center.

Our inner-self calls us to look deep within. The deeper that we journey, the closer we come to God. For that is the one single point of existence; the place of consciousness that transcends and sheds even the physical body. That is when the words of Christ become most real to us when He said, "I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one--as you are in me, Father, and I am in you." (John 17:20-21)  As the Church is the Body of Christ and united as one through the Spirit of God, we are united and one with God. This oneness must have an origin, a starting point. As we delve deeper into silence and connect with our true inner-selves, we find that starting point residing within. It's here that we find the reality that God is one, we are one with each other, and we are one with God.

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