Missed Opportunities

After my trip I have been thinking a lot about “callings” and purpose.  I still believe that our highest purpose is to connect with God.  Beyond that though, we have contributions that only we can make.  I wonder how often we miss these opportunities because we are trying to label ourselves or fit into a box.

The last few days I’ve been thinking of my passions, or the things that light me up when I think about them.  I get really excited about the lessons I plan for the kids at church.  I’m not incredibly organized and struggle a bit with putting them together in a lesson format, but the ideas bring me to life.  In December, we’re going to discuss the metaphysical symbolism in the Christmas story.  In January we’ll be doing the metaphysics in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  After that I’m going to create my own unit on the red letters (the words in the bible supposedly spoken by Jesus).

But here’s where the label comes in.  Because I find myself drawn to the teaching idea again I am trying to make a predictable path for myself.  I’m scared to let God lead me so my ego is butting in.  Yesterday I came up with a plan.  I’d go back to school, get that History degree I’m only 3 classes shy of, and teach middle school Social Studies.  Luckily I know how to listen to my body these days and couldn’t ignore the sick feeling in my tummy when I visualized that plan.

I wonder how many people ignore their guts, go against their dreams, and choose the “sure thing” path?  I wonder how often opportunities for finding your purpose and embracing your calling are missed because money, stability, power, or reputation seem better?

Jesus To Me

In honor of Good Friday and Easter weekend I’ve decided to finally write my thoughts on Jesus.  I didn’t go to church when I was very little and by the time we started going, I think Sunday school lessons were beyond the basic bible stories.  I’d also guess that I spent more time mentally rehearsing what I was going to say to Jay (the boy I had a massive crush on) after the service then I did listening to the lesson.  So up until I started going to Unity Eastside, what I knew of Jesus was the story of his birth, his death, and that you were supposed to ask him into your life in order to be “saved” or “born again.”  So in essence Jesus’ birth was a miracle and his tragic, inhumane death was for me and all the rest of us sinners to keep us out of hell.

When I started going to Unity Eastside, I was presented with a whole new idea of Jesus.  One of the first things I learned is that Jesus is a master teacher and way-shower.  He did not come to Earth in order to become THE WAY to God, but in order to show and teach us how to find God.  We were not meant to worship him, but to follow him.  The second idea I was presented with was the Christ Consciousness.  In Unity we are encouraged to embrace the idea that we are all children of God and contain within us the same divinity that was in Jesus.  Jesus reached God Realization to a degree that is arguably “higher” than anyone else (though I’m sure every religious person would say the same of their prophet), but we are all equally capable of that kind of enlightenment.  We all have the “Christ Spirit” within us and it is up to us to decide if we can put the little us’ aside and live from that place which Jesus lived.

Growing up I suppose Jesus was presented to me as God.  We prayed to him and in his name, but he was also the son of God.  It’s all so very confusing and of course very easily explained by the Christmas story.  Because it really makes all the sense in the world that two people who were very much in love and engaged got pregnant without ever having sex and were told by an angel that the baby was actually the son of God.  You see the angel part I believe completely.  I believe that I am God’s child (however you describe God, which to me is the energy and consciousness of the Universe) and so are my children and everybody else on this earth.  If I had gotten unexpectedly pregnant it would be awesome and not at all surprising if an angel interceded to make sure I understood the value of this life within me.  What I have an awfully hard time swallowing is the whole immaculate conception pregnancy without sex thing.  It sounds to me like revisionist history at it’s finest.  Just another way to make sex dirty, because of course the mother of Jesus had to be a clean and pure virgin.  So what I’m getting at (as blasphemous as it may sound to some) is that to me it only makes sense that Jesus was conceived and born just like the rest of us.  It doesn’t make him any less God’s son or any less of a mystic and master.  I think that any truth teaching you come across despite the religion it is based on will acknowledge the powerful life and message of Jesus.

Which brings me to my last point.  Why do we spend so much energy focused on his birth and especially his death, when the real value Jesus brought to humankind was the teachings he presented in life?  I’d say that Jesus has saved me, but he did not do that by dying on the cross.  I do not find comfort in his suffering and painful death.  He has saved me because I have discovered some of his most valuable lessons.  I have learned that the kingdom of God is within me.  I have learned that I do not need to go to a church to find God, but I can sit in silence and connect with Spirit there.  I have learned that I can have a real relationship with Jesus, because we are all spirits and souls and none of us ever die.  I can call on Jesus for guidance and if I am quiet and still I can feel or hear his answer.  I do not need Jesus’ forgiveness to keep me out of Hell, I need to forgive myself and my fellow man so that I am not living in the midst of it.  Finally and above all, I need to strive to live and move from a place of compassion and love for everyone.

*Before I ended meditation tonight I asked Jesus to help me write this.  I asked to be lead to the right scripture to go with this post (remember, I’m not a biblical scholar).  I was led to the following two passages.  The first I believe was a message just for me to address the fear I had in writing this.  The second was for the purpose of the post.

From Acts Ch. 18 9-10 “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:  For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:  For I have much people in this city.”

From Luke Ch. 17 20-21 “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Love and light to you this Easter weekend….