I hope it has been a productive and refreshing week for you. As we head into the holiday weekend, the unofficial end of Summer here in the US, let’s take a few moments to plan ahead by looking back.
On this edition of “Becoming Today” we’ll recap the week that was. Beginning by glancing back at a significant moment.
The idea of being content but not fulfilled or satisfied is one that for many years somewhat baffled me. How can I be content yet desire so much more?
In accepting contentment am I denying myself the possibility for further or enriched satisfaction?
It’s something that I had to learn. For quite a while I believed that if I accepted feeling content that I was becoming complacent. I was settling and not achieving the possibilities of full potential.
How wrong I was.
To realize that, I had to transform my understanding of what living in the moment was. First clue it’s not living just for this moment.
Music has always been important for me. It’s a blessing. A refuge. A solace. A place where I am free to feel. Free to be. Free to express myself. However in this case initially it was music that played the wrong note in my search for knowledge.
When I heard and contemplated the term, “living in the moment” I initially would hear in my head, “sha la la la”. Then I would hear “live for today, tomorrow doesn’t matter. I was mishearing the song, accepting a misinterpretation of a lyric, leading me to falsely believing it was preaching to do whatever makes you feel good now and don’t even be concerned about any possible repercussions.
That’s not at all what the song was about.
As performed by The Grass Roots a folk group that went psychedelic, the lyrics do say:
“And don’t worry ’bout tomorrow hey, hey, hey
Shah-la, la-la-la-la live for today
Live for today…”
However when considered in the proper context they are talking about being content in the moment. Not shutting down or becoming a slacker, but being accepting of the circumstance without worry, without fear and allowing tomorrow to come as it will.
This is a lot like the words of Jesus:
Well “shah-la, la-la-la-la live for today…”!
Imagine that it is alright to be accepting of and content in the moment while still being cognisant of our need for more.
I began this conversation with these two questions:
How can I be content yet desire so much more?
In accepting contentment am I denying myself the possibility for further or enriched satisfaction?
The answer to the second inquiry, the short retort is “NO”. When accepting and even vocalizing that I am feeling content in the moment, living it fully t the best of my abilities and doing so in accord with the Lord, I am denying nothing. I am simply being all I can be within a temporary situation.
This too shall pass, and when it does something better will take its place.
So as for being content and still desiring more, it is absolutely possible and is a requirement for us along our shared path on “Becoming Today”.
Once we’ve accepted the concert of being content in the moment, we can advance by invoking an attitude of serenity. Peace, calm, being at rest, worry-free, accepting the tranquility of a serene mind.
Serenity can be explained as tranquility. By maintaining self-control and exercising the personal responsibility for having a sense of inner peace and calm even in troubled or challenging times. It is a mind free from stress and anxiety. Free to see beyond doubt and fear.
All very “Becoming” qualities. And just like other steps along our shared path the achievement of serenity involves effort on our part. First to decide serenity is needed, then to take the actions necessary to achieve it.
As with much of life the first step is praying for the ability to become serene. Ask, seek and ye shall find.
When Praying For Your Purpose, dive into your strength. You are only limited by your own thoughts. Create a shift in your thinking; allow yourself to live the life you want. Ask for ( and receive) the support of the highest power.
Developing your prayer life empowers you. When we do we are strengthened, lifting our minds, hearts and spirits. So I urge you to take a prayerful intercession. Asking the Lord to help reveal your individual route to serenity now. I know it will be healing, calming, strengthening, building, growing and most of all “Becoming”.
Not quite sure how to start?
There are many examples out there, perhaps the most well known is aptly referred to as the Serenity Prayer.
Written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, you may recognize some of the words:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”.
Planning to become content in the moment and adopting a peaceful-filled attitude is important for all of us. As individuals and as a collective whole. While you are working on achieving this state of bliss, next, here on “Becoming Today” we’ll discuss how you can get some of your energy flowing in that direction.
There’s a reason if you find yourself humming along with today’s headline. “And there’s a reason why I’m feeling so high…Must be the season…When that love light shines all around us….”
So with a hat tip to the Bellamy Brothers, today they have me singing the praises and benefits of letting our love flow.
Love is indeed a bold word, Love is the strongest of all positive emotions. That’s why this edition of “Becoming Today” is an exploration of why love being directed towards yourself, another individual, a group of people, or even all humanity is of utmost importance.
Today our conversation will look at love through a slightly different filter, as we attempt to share a deeper understanding based upon the lyrics to the classic Bellamy Brother’s song, “Let Your Love Flow”.
As Howard and David melodiously instruct us,
“So let that feeling grab you deep inside,
And send you reeling where your love can’t hide”,
And when it does we should be able to find ourselves in a more open state of mind and more peaceful erhas than we allow ourselves during our daily grind.
Being a person of peace, calm, at rest, at ease and open allows for us to enjoy our relationships with others. It allows us the protected form of vulnerability to be open to new, better experiences with people and our environments. People will want to be around you, perhaps for reasons they do not immediately understand. But rest assured it will be because they desire the peace you are radiating.
As the chorus reminds us,
“Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show and you’ll know what I mean
It’s the season”.
While written as a song focused on singular love and it’s more physical aspects, these words at face value can be translated to something much deeper and higher in nature.
Living with the love and peace of God is truly virtuous. Sharing it with others enables more favor in our lives and boosts the quality of life for all we encounter.
Remaining calm, at rest, peaceful, in a balanced state and doing so with an open, kind, loving heart also results in a gentile spirit. That is receptive to learning, growing, changing and most of all “Becoming”.
It stands the test of time and truth. What some learned as a simple fundamental prayer is indeed sage advice, though some want to dispute its origins.
We’ll discuss that and the importance of the Lord’s Prayer now on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
Less than 50 words that have a lasting impact which can fill volumes.
The Lord’s Prayer as I first learned it was a direct teaching given by Jesus Christ. As I mentioned some now want to dispute that, which we’ll touch upon, but first let’s explore the simplicity and deep meaning of this instrument of connection with God.
As I first learned the words, they were:
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us.
As a child the words from the King James Version of the BIble can be confusing but it was drilled into us through forced recitation that these are the words and they must be said that way. So as a child I did so, simply to avoid punishment and really never connected with the importance.
Back then the memorization was necessary to not be chastised by instructors, thumped by parents and to avoid being punished by God- as I was told would happen if I didn’t learn it.
None of those are reasons I am endorsing.
In fact, as I have unlearned so many things from my formative years, this methodology couldn’t be further from the truth.
I did at an early age like this idea that I could be forgiven. As I was mistaught and had daily reinforcement that I was not worthy of forgiveness as well as that I was a horrible person, worthless and would never amount to anything, none of which I believed, this idea that God would forgive me seemed very appealing.
At the time it was a loophole, I can get out of all these other things I’m being falsely accused of and then I’ll show them all.
Of course it was a wrong motivation, but at the time it served me well to want to learn there was not only a better way but also a path out.
Learning that I could talk to God about anything and receive inspiration, protection and knowledge to survive and thrive was indeed life changing, and these words in the Lord’s Prayer helped me see that there were options available.
In teaching His Disciples this model of prayer they and now we can see and choose to accept that if we will obediently and humbly submit ourselves to the authority of Our Father who art in heaven that we can ‘Always Be Becoming”.
Earlier in our discussion I alluded to some scholars and theologians over the past few decades wanting to dispute the accuracy of the reporting of Luke and Matthew. Not quite taking it to the level of a “Fake News” accusation, they are trying to claim that Jesus never gave the instruction.
In the late 1980’s at an event called the “Jesus Seminar”, biblical scholars met to debate the idea. Of the two dozen or so gathered together the Los Angeles Times reported,
“Seminar members voted this way on the Lord’s Prayer as a whole: Three said it came from Jesus, six said it probably came from him, 10 said it probably did not and five said it did not.”
Those 15 convinced the prayer was not taught by Jesus believe it was created after Christ’s crucifixion as an early church organization needed a way of bringing people under their order. If it had been, you know, I’m not all that concerned about it.
While I certainly do not consider myself or attempt to infer that I am a biblical scholar, it seems debating this minutia is divisive. It doesn’t bring us together, nor unite us in the strengths of faith. It distracts and draws attention away from the pure intentions of the prayer.
While I choose to believe the words were directly inspired by and related to the Disciples by Jesus himself, I do not feel a need to break down every possible syllable nor the punctuation.
I choose to believe.
I testify that this simple prayer, designed as a model to help us build a personal, one on one relationship with God, just as it did that for me. Plus I know it can for you.
Take some time to reflect upon these words and they develop your own phrasins, so that you are comfortable in communicating your need and gratitude with God who is ordering our steps along this shared path we call “Becoming Today”.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend and on Monday we’ll take a look at how “labor” is an important principle along our journey.