When you pretend to believe things you really no longer believe and you do so…
…Just to please those whose friendships you’re afraid you might lose; or, because…
…You fear their judgments of your admission or, worse…
…The thought of their rejection of you is too painful to bear…
Know this, my friend, you have severed your connection to your authentic self – which, coincidentally, is that place where one meets Source herself. You are never more “saved” than when you are your authentic self in concert with Source itself.
What do you think the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness were all about? (Lk 4:1-12). Really now! What? If not tests as to whether he would be truly himself? Truly a servant of God’s wishes, instead of everyone else’s or those of his own?
But, maybe you have not completely severed that connection yet! Maybe the umbilical chord is still attached.
Why do I say this?
The fact that you’re reading my words…resonating with them and, thinking to yourself, “That’s me! He’s writing about me!” Maybe that means, my friend, you have not completely severed your connection to your deepest self or your Source.
Why else would feel as concerned as you do, if you had?
When Jesus died on the cross he did so to save you from the mistake of living an inauthentic life. I wasn’t told this when I was in Sunday School…when I was a teen in the church youth group. No, I was always told Jesus died to wash away my sins (and, of course, I was glad to hear this as I had many great and terrible sins for which Jesus died – a beer or two I drank before age 21, a few heavy-petting sessions with girls in the youth group, perhaps a joint or two I smoked, and some bad words I used too often).
I was told Jesus died to save me from “original sin.” Whatever that was. Nobody really knew, so church folk – depending on what tradition of the Church you grew up in – invented their list of the things that qualified – for us Baptists, it was “heavy petting,” drinking booze (Catholics and Lutherans, for some reason, had a stay of grace on this one), and, of course, using God’s name in a four-lettered word. That was one of the worst things you could do. But that was about the extent of my “original sins.” Some of my friends were worse. Terrible even. They’d go “all the way” with some girls. But, for all our terrible evils, I could never figure why saying something like “God dammit!” was so offensive to God, he’d have to kill his son to soften his rage?
It all made little sense to me. Just as it does not to most people today…when they actually think about it.
I have a different understanding today.
What could be more sinful, for example, or more original – that is, more like all of us, than to miss being the person God created you to be? For that matter, what could be worse? What could need saving more than the temptation in you, and me, to continue sacrificing your authenticity on the altar of someone else’s opinion of you? Or their expectations for you? Or, their demands that you fit in and conform or believe as they believe or else, or confess things that you know just ain’t so?
The word “sin” means to “miss the mark.” A word picture of an archer who misses his target.
What could be more tragic…more sinful, more original, than to miss living the life you were intended to live? Of being the person you were created to be? What could be worse than living and dying, even as a very devout churchgoer, who never quite gets it…lives it…or makes it with God…with yourself…and, all because, instead of living your life…instead of walking by the beat of your heart…instead of knowing the Presence of Prince of Peace, you’ve lived and died trying to please everyone…make everyone else happy by not rocking their boat?
Isn’t this that unto which people need saving today? Isn’t this what Easter should be about?
Instead of the stuff you’ll hear in most churches tomorrow? “Amen! Jesus got his body back! Praise the Lord! You don’t have to be afraid as you stare death in its face. You’re gonna survive! You’re gonna get a body…it’ll actually look like you.” And on and on goes the little egos clamoring…hoping…that they’re not really gonna have to die…the ego LIVES! What more could we want Easter to be? Than your survival and mine!
I ask you, my friend, reduce not the mystery or majesty of Christ’ resurrection this Easter to Jesus getting his body back. You getting your body back. Is that all it really means to you? Hell, getting your body back…what kind of miracle is that? Frankly, I look at my body…it ain’t worth saving. How is that the miracle of Easter. Any ole medicine man (or, woman) can perform that trick and they do so in hospitals around the world daily.
No, the real mystery of the resurrection is that you get your life back?
The Life that you showed up with but, somewhere lost or laid aside in favor of pleasing everyone else…of conforming to “their” beliefs, of pretending to be someone you’re not, of dancing to everyone else’s tune?
Know this, my Facebook friends and blog readers at BeliefNet, today you will likely reside in a tomb of your own, as you ponder these words…their truth and application to your life, such as it is, the life you’ve been living or trying to live and growing weary of it — a life that is no life at all. You might as well not be living at all because, of course, you’re not. You’re just existing.
My advice? Think about this long and hard.
But, do not despair.
Easter morning is coming!
A new day is dawning!
A resurrection is happening all over again.
Your own resurrection! Now that, my friend, IS EASTER!