This I Believe

Teresa - Watonsville, California
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I Believe

The moment is quiet, the moment is still, the moment is alone.

From this place I speak what I believe, what I have learned, and of that to which I aspire.

The purpose of life: to know, love and serve God in this life and the next.

What is God’s nature? Imagine One who would chose his Beloved—and his Beloved would consent– to undergo unspeakable acts of torture, in order to effect the return of the torturers to their original home of light and love. This, I believe, is the essence of God. This essence contains neither anger nor a moment’s lapse from the fullness of Love.

How do we, the torturers, find the way back, should we desire to find the way?

The way is prayer. The journey is life-long. The demand is faith. The difficulty, whether in the beginning or further along the way, will, at some time, be excruciating, for it will demand a prolonged “I believe!” in the midst of utter unbelief, utter loneliness, utter aloneness and utter desolation of every feeling of consolations.

The path of faith will again and again demand an “I believe!” yet one will note progress along the path. For the beginning gossamer wisps of faith, seen in a later backward glance, are become footstones of knowledge.

It is not possible for Knowing to result from faith in a thing that is not. No cycle of self-talk can produce the miraculous, whether an impossible recovery from cancer, the existence of kindness, or a loving decision to withstand an unjust accusation with grace.

God is immediate, closer to us than we are to ourselves. He is accessible to the individual who sits quietly, who asks honestly and who discards all self-justification. God will replace our selves with Himself, if this is what we desire. What is necessary is time spent quietly and purposefully, so that His Self can displace our self. We then make mindful choices to use that new Self or to call back our old self.

There is a proverb: “No matter the harm, do no violence to your neighbor.” How is this possible amidst unimaginable atrocities committed against those whom we love more than life? If we cannot abide the discourteous driver, how can we ever approach a change of self so profound that we would, in essence, share the crucifixion?

To the degree that we desire a change of our selves, to the degree we set aside quiet time in our lives, our daily lives, to the degree of change we desire: to this degree our life will be challenged and our prayer will be answered. Sincerity, trust, wholeheartedness and the realization that displacement of our selves is an act of grace, will find us home again. This I believe.