Saturday, August 31, 2013
Jesus then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honor. He said this, 'When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honor. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, "Give up your place to this man." And then, to your embarrassment, you will have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, "My friend, move up higher." Then, everyone with you at the table will see you honored. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.'
There is always someone more distinguished than you invited to share every precious moment of life. And that person is … you, the real you, not the mask of ego you present to the world.
There is a deeper person, a soul, contemplatives call it the ‘true self’ that is so much more--and more real--than the series of masks we wear in the world, one at work, another at school, a third in the neighborhood, and so on.
All of these masks are, at best, a shadow of the deeper reality, the being we each are.
Each of is an incarnation of the breath and life of God. Each of us is a word of God’s loving creativity breathed into time and space. The power of being that gives us life and being is the One who is love. At our core, we are expressions of not of love, but of Love.
And each of intuitively knows … we are so much more than the face we so carefully present to the world.
But there are moments when our true self appears. There are moments when we are totally loved … and loving, giving ourselves away. At times of deepest pain or truest love, our soul spills out. We feel and know that self, that soul that the mystics say is the indwelling of God, the Spirit of God, the breath of God. Choose whichever metaphor you like. They all amount to more or less the same thing.
In such moments, we are aware of the love resides at our core, the love that is God. We feel connected, truly connected with who we really are. We feel our unity with all others and all creation. We feel and know that none of us our islands but are part of one great ocean of life.
It is a moment of lucidity when we know who we are, knowing, too, that all we are and all that exists is enfolded in Uncreated Love.
Still, we walk around each day living an illusion, defending and shining up our tiny selves, those little social selves that must get on in the world and make the best impression, falsely thinking that this surface self is who we are.
The harder we work to inflate our importance and appearance, the more we preen and posture, the more anxious and insecure we become. For, we know the self we defend is an imposter. He or she isn’t truly real.
Freedom and peace come only as we let go of this imposter and listen to the heart of love that burns at our core. Doing this, we slowly give up our worries about climbing higher or getting ahead of others.
When the imposter disappears, we begin to feel the soul we are--the presence of God within. Feeling this, we are raised up to the height of our humanity where we commune with Love Unlimited.
Pr. David L. Miller