Repentance and Religion: Take2

I am still thinking about repentance and religion, but this week I am seeing it from a different angle.  To see God at work in this world, we have to look for higher consciousness and love at work, but to do that we have see the world in a totally new way. Instead of seeing with our physical eyes, we must somehow access the inner eye, the eye of the heart, the eye that recognizes the workings of God. This means not only new ways of seeing, but seeing the world as God knows it.

I can’t begin to describe how God looks at our world, but I do make some assumptions based on what I read in the Bible. God likes us to be on his side, loving him and obeying the principles for living and the commandments that he gave us. God looks at his creation with love and compassion and forgiveness, celebrating when any one person turns back towards his ways. In his compassion he suffers along with us, just as he suffered along with Jesus. He wants to participate in our lives, to be put first, to help us with all the details of our lives, to see us take on our purpose. He wants to be close to us.

Following this way of thinking repentance becomes turning away from the way we normally experience the physical world and our lives to being willing to entertain a totally new perspective on what we see. If you are like me, you are appalled at how the world works, at how resistant it is to change, for example, how cruel and nasty people can be, how, in spite of some good changes in consciousness, like the inclusion of people of color as equals in our legal system, things on the whole are just as bad as they’ve always been.  There is a sense of powerlessness in the face of this reality.

I think we often just want to escape the world and its challenges and pain. This is the crux of the attitude we must turn from. It makes us cynical and uncaring and out only for me and mine.  In God’s view of the world God has love and compassion to offer to everyone, through everyone. God can empower lots of people to express love and compassion, but they have to turn towards him, embrace his view of the world in order to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to work in the world, to bring a whole new agenda to the fore.

I can’t be Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King or Gandhi, 20th C. icons of God’s love, compassion, nonviolence and peace.  And I am right: I will never be one of them; I am not a clone of any of them. But I can be myself, bringing all that I am created to be to a relationship with God in which I am empowered to do what I already, through my creation, my talents and even my weaknesses, have the capacity to be, if, and it’s a big IF, I can put myself in God’s hands, let him read my genetic code, talents etc., and put that together with the skills I have gained in a lifetime. That’s God’s part. Then my part is to listen to the Spirit who communicates to me what I have been created to do. Then I am capable of being God’s hands and voice in this world, a true transformative person. On my own I can only do so much, but with God at my side, well then……..

To see that potential means I am already seeing with my inner eye. I wonder that we see so little of God at work in the world. It’s a matter of adjusting our vision to seeing with both our physical eyes and our metaphysical one: God is showering us with blessings, even bombarding us with them every day, if we but open our eyes, adjust our vision slightly to include all that there is, we can see it happen, experience it deep in our souls. This is the kingdom of God and it is happening every day to all of us, if we’re willing to turn and see and act as we were created to act.

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