love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
Today’s sermon was so necessary in my life right now, it’s not even funny. I’ve mentioned my growing anxiety and this past week was hard. It’s weird to people who don’t know me because I appear to “have it all together” and have “accomplishments,” but I struggle with feelings of inadequacy in just about all areas. Today’s message was about how we forget to live in the now because we are always anticipating and focusing on what is coming next. Just like the Buddhist (or universal) belief goes, there is no past, there is no future, there is only now.
One thing I really appreciate about the church is the affirmation that God is good, so that we are good because we have Divinity within us. No we are not God, but we are co-creators with god because of our free will. I never could get with the idea that we are naturally sinners because 1) I don’t believe in sin in that manner and 2) I simply don’t see myself in the negative that way. But even in thinking about how we are good, we often find ourselves wondering about why “good” isn’t happening to us even though we are doing all that we think we should be doing– praying, meditating, etc. The following message is based on my notes from Pastor Tenaglia (giving credit where it’s due).
Pastor Tenaglia said that there are two main reasons why our “good” isn’t happening now. It could because it’s not ready YET, but is in the process of unfolding. You know this is the case because you have that feeling, that itch, that knowing that it’s right there because you can just about taste it. If that’s the case, keep doing what you’re doing—praying, preparing, surrounding yourself with supportive people.
The second reason it isn’t happening is because we “got out of the oven too early.” He made the analogy to eating half-baked bread; just plain nasty. Getting out of the oven too early mean that we aren’t ready for the good that we want. Our consciousness of KNOWING hasn’t set in yet. We are half-baked (yes he was aware of his pun). We are half-hearted and half-committed. We don’t really, truly believe that God is present and ready to move in our lives. We kinda believe it, but our belief in what other people say and do is stronger. We try to latch on to what OTHERS say is for us or we try to follow someone else’s divine plan because we saw it worked for them. Pure and simply, we lack faith. Faith that if we step out into the unknown, we will either land on something solid or taught to fly. Fear is our motivation and fear is not Divine. Our relationships are a reflection of how we see ourselves and our feelings of unworthiness. All we do is lament (verbally, internally, or subconsciously) to the universe about how we are worthless, never get it right etc. Every time we speak lack, separation, being at the mercy of others, we are living a half-life.
I don’t know about yall. But this is me to the T. Maybe this sermon was just for me to hear today but I hope someone else can take something away from it.
He went on to say that when you say and KNOW, you are turning up the heat and passion and are reflecting God. There’s no failure unless you quit permanently. Even if you haven’t gotten it YET, you haven’t failed. When we get tired, it’s because we are carrying too much baggage.
1- Dump the fear, the nagging beliefs, the limited ideas because they don’t come from God. God is about total joy. Fear is from the ego. Remind yourself that “I am God’s creation and I am successful.”
2- Get rid of people that refuse to see the real you or can’t celebrate you. Those that can’t acknowledge how Divine you are because they can’t see their own.
3- When you put yourself out there only half-way, you are only living half a life. What we give, we get- the good and bad. We also have to be open to receive the good. We have to release good and love on purpose.
His final question and challenge: How willing are you to have it good?? God knows how to do it, you don’t. Let God go before you.
Until god reveals it, stay in the oven. Keep cooking joyfully, preparing for the way God has for you.
And so it is.