Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

What is immortal? Love, God’s Love — that which is not connected to a form. It isn’t a person’s face, it isn’t a passage of music — it is that which produces those things. We are intended to be changed by Love, so that a genesis can take place within us that is not the product of us trying to control a beginning or an end for the sake of some imagined plan, but so that we as human beings can be part of that which is immortal. We want to become what it is that we have the potential to be, and what we have the potential to be is a participant in that genesis, always becoming something different.

But we push away the very genesis that is required for us to discover what is immortal: Love — that which isn’t afraid of what we are afraid of, that which has no agenda concerning what anyone else is or does. Why? Because that Love has its own life that isn’t conditional, that is never-endingly producing a new beginning.

Begin the beautiful work of releasing the nature that is consistently trying to control its environment as well as the people in it. Start with realizing that there’s no moment in which, whether you’re with one person or a crowd of people, there’s nothing that you’re going to see, there’s nothing that’s going to pass in front of you that isn’t there for the purpose of introducing you to what you have yet to discover is true about yourself. Eventually you will want the perpetual truth of yourself — which is what the genesis is consistently showing — not “you” the way you take yourself to be, but rather a completely different order of your self that is never not being made in the image of Love.

Our hope in prayer is to become one with the Living Light whose dawning opens the doorway to the Divine…

starry night, snowy mountains

Over the years of living on a small mountaintop in southern Oregon, I have learned many valuable lessons from observing the wildlife that shares the forest area in which my house sits sequestered. The truth is, along the spiritual path, nature is never not exhibiting — in real time — with real creatures — some of the most profound principles one can hope to learn. And key here is the idea that, regardless of the nature of the lesson in hand, or its method of delivery, one must observe in order to learn. This holds true when it comes to watching insects, birds, and deer, as it does with stinging thoughts and sentimental feelings.

At any rate, I thought I would share one of these inner life lessons that I think is essential for those who aspire to realize their relationship with the Divine.

Several years back, I began throwing peanuts out to some of the yakking stellar jays that would regularly visit my birdfeeders for the free seed they’d find there. Over time, I began learning some of the calls these birds make, and gradually became able to call them in to me from the woods around my house where they must nest. Eventually I became friends with one of these jays that I came to name, “Heckle.” Little did I know how prophetic his name would be!

As our relationship developed, Heckle eventually learned the following: if he would just land on one of the little bonsai trees that sit directly in front of the large window (behind which I sit and do my work), and stare at me “longingly”… eventually I’d have to get up from my chair and throw him some peanuts! He even learned to rustle and fluff up his feathers, as do baby birds to elicit the feeding response from their parents. I was powerless!

Now almost every day — several times a day, in fact — Heckle shows up “asking” for a few treats. His persistence is impossible to describe. But what I can tell you is that when he sits there in front of me long enough, invariably I have to get up out of my chair to answer his non-verbal request. And if this relationship is in any way a reflection of the truth of what happens when a request is made consistently and persistently by one creature of another — which I am sure it is — then how much more true would this hold for someone who, persistently and consistently, asks God for a new life? Just as I am unable to refuse what this beautiful blue bird with its black crown asks of me, so is the very Goodness that has revealed this relationship incapable of refusing a measure of itself to any and all who ask.

Persistence and consistency in one’s interior work are not powers to be won, but rather preexist our awakening to the need for them in our lives. The man or woman who genuinely thirsts needs never be reminded of how much they need water. Persist!

Proceed along the spiritual path, even in the midst of feeling discouraged over your progress, and you will make the glad discovery that no discouraging state has the power to keep up with you…

cliffs, ocean