Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cracking More Eggs: Spiritual Formation pt. 2

A key part of our foundation are the images of God and images of self we have collected like Rachel collecting the household idols of Laban before she set off with Jacob for "home".  We sit atop these images no matter how precarious or how uncomfortable.  A key refrain in educating brian has been, "we do not know what we do not know."  And so it goes with the images of God and of self as we try to keep our balance on this bumpy ride towards home.

Today Lorna gave us this:
"...we are not usually conscious in a direct way of any false image that in fact may be influencing us.  But our negative feelings...can lead us to new discoveries about the way the divine mystery in our lives is subjectively shaped and narrowed by false images.  if any progress is made in recognizing one, the power of that false image over us at once begins to weaken.  It may not disappear altogether, however, until replaced by a better image.

It is not enough to clean out false images from our spiritual cupboards.  The beautiful and true images of God revealed to us in Scripture need to be recognized, brought gladly int our hearts and given the place of honor in the heights of our spirit.

In the whole Bible...and especially in the Gospels, true images of God are expressed and given to us in a rich variety of situation, actions and interpersonal exchanges.  By growing familiar with them our hearts may be 'filled with God.'...(There is an invitation to) spend time with the Scripture passages which bring true images of God into our deepest souls."  - Prayer Companions Handbook, pp 54-55 John Wickham.

One of my false images is the "I'll serve you if you serve me" God.  I struggle with disappointment with God sometimes solely based on his inability to live up to the promises I've written up for him and signed his name to.  The "God who owes me" is not a God worth following.

Another one that I'm recovering from is the "personal Savior" God.  At the heart it's western and it feeds division.  God is not my "personal savior", he's much, much bigger than that.  And I can only understand who God really is by understanding he's Savior for the lot of us, not just me and I can't possibly begin to understand you or me until I get that right.  I've come into a Kingdom, not a Day Spa.

Any false images you'd like to toss on the pile and find yourself on a more solid foundation?  Go ahead and leave them here in the comments if you want...

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