Reflection on the sermon at Stopsley Baptist Church (2 Aug 2015) and the YouTube video by Matthew Fox: 'Recovering the sacredness of the earth'.
"If God gives me all that I need, what am I striving for?"
Having pondered this question for the past day or so, two words keeps popping into my mind: understanding and survival. I think it is a slight misjudgement for me to feel that if I am loved by God and he/she gives me all I need then I need not strive for anything. What is important is the intention behind the actions that govern what I say or do. I could just sit back and dwell in the 'love of God' and not really utilise the fact that I am a unique person with gifts and abilities and the conscious ability to change my interaction with the environment around me. I have a responsibility to be the human being that I am and I think that to be aware of who, what and where I am is key to my spiritual life. I need to be thankful for what I have and it is all to easy to let the days go by without really appreciating all that I have around me: family, food, house, work, garden, fresh air, some degree of freedom to be who I want to be etc. But life is about getting out and about and doing something. I am not one for petitioning God for everything either, I believe I am expected to try and sort out lots of things myself and not to try and hide behind a glib "God will sort it all out" that invalidates any reason for my existence.
My attempt to be a spiritual person means that I am striving for understanding, not to do so would be an insult to God, and my understanding is often based on the awe I have for Nature.
"Radical amazement is the beginning of authentic religious feeling."
"The world in all its grandeur is full of spiritual radiance."
"Awareness of the Divine begins with Awe."
"Many people think of God as they would a cow: what can they get out of it?"
I happily admit that I strive for things and that is because I have to in order to stay alive and have some sort of pleasant existence on this earth. I am not going to go into details about this here as this is just a general comment. Intention is important though and I will happily admit that perhaps I push too hard for somethings and should let more things just "be". Deciding on where to strike the right balance is a key issue. There are many positive times in life when you have to find the energy and motivation to succeed. I recently had to take on a bigger piece of responsibility at work which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then there are times when all the hard work I put into growing vegetables in the garden seems in vain until the summer rains come and then everything suddenly flourishes. I would love to have the luxury of a more relaxed lifestyle. Yes, perhaps God would provide, but I am not at the moment willing to put that to the test I am not always sure it is a matter of faith making decisions like that.
To summarise, I do believe that I have all the resources around me that I need for being who I am and perhaps I need need to be more aware of how to utilise what motivates and inspires me.