Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

Film, “The Way Back,” caused my outlook on life to tighten.

It’s a Peter Weir screenplay based on the book, “The Long Walk: A True Story of a Trek to Freedom,” by Slawomir Rawicz, a Polish POW. The veracity of the story is debated, but the story line is still worth noting.

The show, staged in 1941, follows gulag escapees from Siberia to India, via Tibet. It starts at the prison camp, and brings to attention the genocide under USSR Marxism. Basically, prisoners were placed in the force labor camps for petty crimes or for cracking a joke about the government. That fact alone is a wakeup call to me. I am privileged to live in the United States.

Anyway, the escapees face freezing days and nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, a torturous desert, the Himalayas, and moral questions. It shows the power of survival, yet it also shows that complaining about breaking out of imprisonment isn’t all that glamorous. They had to pull together and keep the high goal of freedom before their minds.

There are times when my mind feels imprisoned in sickness or worry. I shouldn’t expect a quick-fix, but should have the willingness to fight for total freedom.

The men had to walk thousands of miles to get out of territory where they weren’t threatened to return to imprisonment. To escape the human mind and ego, and reach freedom in the divine Mind, takes hard work, community spirit, and persistence.

It’s amazing how we can tie what we read in the Bible to everyday life. The following story was linked to my recent visit to Sharon Springs, NY. (images below)

The Old Testament depicts a God with human characteristics. Fortunately, our concept of God can evolve into a God of care and creativity. For example in II Samuel I read about King David, and a group of choice colleagues, who brought the ark of God out of the house of Abinadab.

The King wanted to bring it to the city of David, but while in transport (remember they had no gasoline vehicles and smooth roads, but it was a bunch of guys guiding oxen on dirt roads, pulling a cart on which the ark was perched) the ark started teetering. So Uzzah puts “out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.” (II Samuel 6:6 NKJV)

Rather harsh reaction on God’s part here, I think. Even King David was miffed by God’s outbreak and called the place Perez Uzzah, or Outburst Against Ussah.

It reminds me to hold my tongue from an outburst or from striking someone down. Of course, practicing this ideal is harder than just remembering to do so, but outbursts of anger do have a lasting effect. They go down in history.

We can reverse that trend.

Biblical accounts show that we can stop focusing on a humanlike God with the idiosyncrasy to strike someone down in a temper tantrum. We can advance in our understanding to know a God of peace and forgiveness, using power to promote healing.

I recently visited Sharon Springs, an upstate New York village. It went from a hub of activity in the 1800’s to a dilapidated area, as if it was struck down. However, appealing to a higher power of intelligence and creativity, people are refurbishing the village to attract others interested in a tranquil place to come and rest, eat, and shop.

 

Guest room at American Hotel

Guest room at American Hotel

Grass fed meats available at Sustainables Store

Grass fed meats available at Sustainables Store

Vegetarian medley at Black Cat Cafe

Vegetarian medley at Black Cat Cafe

Products at Spring House Spa

Products at Spring House Spa

 

 

 

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

(2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

bird of paradise

I don’t cry very often. Usually, I’m really tired and one thing after another piled up until I break down and cry.

But, the other day, everything was fine. Really fine. I was out on a walk. The snow fall was lovely. I’d gotten my work done. And, I saw my husband drive up. He’d received a phone call and we were told news that shocked us.

I broke down and cried.

I was crying with God. I even got upset with God.

Although my brain was discombobulated, I didn’t doubt God’s presence. But, I was sure expecting God to act fast and get me straightened around.

It took a few hours. I calmed down. I put the brain noise on the back burner.

I wasn’t going to pray for the human situation to change back to normal. I just wanted to know what God would have me do.

Ideas started flowing, thankfully.

My husband read from the Bible to me and angels were talked about. I told myself to know that angels are everywhere, absolutely everywhere, helping, guiding, healing, and motivating all people and the earth.

We received another phone call and the situation that scared me had taken a turn for the better.

Sometimes I just want to cry.

And, I did cry tears of rejoicing and gratitude.