When all about you is in turmoil, when adversities somehow seem insurmountable and when there is no way to avoid meeting them head on, the centering prayer is the key to staying on an even keel. Jesus was more than a carpenter. He was a boatbuilder. Each vessel he built had to withstand not only the onslaughts of time, but rogue waves that might come from any direction. On our isolated, rebellion torn world the assaults on human dignity can also be severe and unpredictable.
Selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy can be like tsunamis that slam the mortal soul. And then there are the smaller waves that continuously beat about all that is near to us and dear to us. Even so, each and every human being that has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of Our Heavenly Father is rewarded with a Divine form of ballast that serves to stabilize us as we venture out onto the high seas where unexplored truth has the potential to reveal the keys to our eternal destiny.
As we set about to search, seemingly distant shores for meaningful spiritual realities, we discover our temporal securities are vulnerable and we steadily develop a preference for spiritual sureties that are unassailable. As we encounter and enter the citadel of the spirit, it can serve as the inner bastion that shields us from any attempted incursion into our soul. It can also be the inexhaustible source of our moxie, our pluck, our spunk, and our mettle.
The soul satisfying landscape that surrounds Our Father’s central abode can also be our eternal dwelling place. Our perseverance can either be deeply rooted in this living spiritual gift from God or, our entire root structure can be shallow and weak. Much depends upon how we perceive Creation. And, even in this context, we are more than creatures to a Benevolent Creator. We are members of a spiritual siblinghood. We are the children of a Divine Parent with all that implies.
As we come to realize that God indwells and envelopes us, we gradually grow past the earthly sciences, philosophies, and religions of any particular age. We begin to see facts as transient, meanings as time conditioned and, as if by contrast, values as potentially eternal. When those values are derived from our loyalties, as conditioned by our seasoned perception of Divine Qualities, we receive assurances that we are on the right course to the center of all that is real.
We must be sympathetic to the doubters because those who fail to recognize the existence of God are often appreciative of his handiwork without recognizing the author. They may be justifying rejection and claiming to be “reality centered” when, in fact, the embrace of the Divine is the most real experience that may be encountered in all of human experience. And then, of course, there are all the problems associated with the quality of our witness. Are we really walking the walk as we talk the talk?
God is not coercive. We need to give him permission to order our thoughts as well as our steps. To actually be reality centered, we must be intellectually balanced. Our science, philosophy, and religion must be truly complementary rather than competing. As long as our facts, meanings, and values are coherent, this is arrived at naturally and augmented spiritually.
The term Theos is defined as God. Those steeped in theosophical traditions have long held that it refers to our ultimate environment; our total reality. The English word enthusiasm is derived from the Greek term en-theos. It has been defined to mean both “in God” as well as “God within.” In the first case, Theosophy appears to support the statement of Paul the Apostle, for he said: “In Him we live and move, and have our being.” In the second case, Jesus advances the concept of God within as he proclaimed “The Kingdom of God is within you.”
The Jesusonian Gospel as it reveals God within is entirely compatible with ancient as well as modern wisdom traditions that support the concept of God as all pervasive. And, while our conceptual frameworks will undoubtedly continue to evolve, we realize it is precisely because our relationship with the omnipresent and benevolent Deity steadily grows. The wonder lure is not only hard to resist, once we realize that the high mission of art is to serve as prelude to a far more appealing reality, we cease to resist as we let these higher, more refined arts, have their way with us.
Our early fascination with and affinity for the scattershot rage machine will fade. The discordant screech will lose its appeal. And, as the singer foretold, “The things of earth will grow strangely dim, by the light of God’s glory and grace.” The possibilities are endless. And, even though our highest and best destiny is known. Although we are each ideally suited for a custom made future, it will not be imposed upon us. We must deliberately and enthusiastically reach for it.