Follower of Jesus (16)
Mar 12, 2017
Follower of Jesus (16)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4)
I mentioned in the last post that somewhere around the age of seven we reach what is known as ‘the age of reason’, where we start to consciously (more or less) don the disguises or masks to hide the loneliness that marks our entry into a more mature personality, or the personality of the ego. We learn to wear many masks: at first there is the face at home where we tend to be more open, then the personality at school, then the face at play, then the face to a stranger, eventually the face at wherever we are at the time – usually a different face or personality depending on the social environment at the moment. This process of building the ego is critical to the first stage of life. It is through the ego and it’s many masks that we learn to interface with the world, begin to understand who we are as a person in the world, how to behave in various situations.
These are the time of life that we need rules and guidelines to build a life that fits into the society that we live. A person born and maturing in New York City with its crowds will have one set of masks, and one born in a rural part of the country will have a different set of masks. Each will be of a type that will allow the bearer to fit into that society. There is nothing wrong with either set of masks; they are what we believe (and only what we believe) we need to do to gain acceptance in our local society, earn a living, and start to grow into a person we would like our self to be.
We are indeed the rich one, and would find it difficult to fit “through the eye of the needle”, as Jesus put it.
But, on the other hand, we find ourselves fitting a comfortable role that we have chosen, rich in our human spirit.
Life is good.
Until it is not –“ Is This All There Is?”, as an oldie song was entitled.
Maybe, just maybe, there is more to life than the seemingly constant role playing that we find ourselves involved in – whatever our situation in life is, we seemingly play a role, and find it difficult if not impossible to say or act as we might feel deeply in our very being. Usually these questions begin to be asked when major changes hit our life, causing pain that just does not go away. Often these changes mark life moments – such as the ‘empty nest’ period when all children are gone. But sometimes these are unexpected and impactful moments, such as death of a parent or even a child, that brings our mortality up front in our lives and helps us to understand that this life is not always a bed of roses.
These moments are moments where God is speaking to us, calling us to look carefully at our life, calling us to change how we view life. This is the invitation to the second stage of life, where we start the search for that ‘poor in spirit’ that Jesus was talking about. if we are fortunate, we will encounter hiccups in life that will beckon us to look deeper – for the ‘poor in spirit’ is an internal step, where we begin to release the hold of the things of this material world to things that promise and bring us greater joy, despite the uneven events of this life.
Normally, this step is over many years, and when one reaches my age of 80+ years, when the end of life stares one in the face (even 20 years is over before you know it), and one cannot deny that march of time. Hopefully one can accept that step and even find joy in the process.
To be ‘poor in spirit’ is a process. If we are fortunate, we will have time, we will have the nudges, we will have the blows of life that we need in order to move forward. A friend sent an article about entitled “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.” This “threat” of loneliness is a call from God, that God that so many, especially men, have rejected and lost contact, a call to look inward, and find the God “that dwells within.” It is that God calling, for loneliness occurs when sports and the rowdy drunkenness fails to satisfy; it is a calling from God to go within.
And find the joy of the love of God, that lasts beyond death, and is enclosed in the ‘poor in spirit’ that we are all called to become.
Oh Spirit of Life, I open my heart to your joy and love of life. I am grateful of this life You have given me, and am learning to let this life just be, using whatever talents You have given this embodiment of Your Devine Face to let Your Love and Life flow into our world. I ask to be a bearer for whatever period that I am granted to become a bearer of light, so that our world may become what it was designed to become: the kingdom of God embodied in the consciousness of life that blesses this small globe we call home.
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