Preaching About Moving Forward When Your Car Only Drives in Reverse
This is me sitting in a car that will only drive backwards...as in reverse. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. When I put the car in drive and pushed the gas pedal all the way to the floor I didn't move an inch. And ya'll, I may be going crazy but I literally sat in this car laughing so hard that I had tears falling down my face because I had an AMAZING day, full of positive things and loving people and multiple conversations about letting go of the past and at the end of the day there I sat in a car that would only go backwards.
Speaking of going back, let me elaborate on the irony and humor of the situation.
Earlier in the day a really exciting thing happened...I delivered the message on Sunday at church! I was so excited and grateful for the opportunity. I spent most of my evenings preparing, researching, outlining and praying that I would be present enough to be able to discern how the message should come together. Get this, the topic was about our attachments to survival and security, (a topic I touched on from a personal standpoint in my first post) and how inserting a contemplative practice (which I wrote about here) can help break cycles driven by our unconscious emotional programs for happiness that spill over into our conscious lives. It was serendipitous!
I started the morning sharing a bit of my own testimony and how my mom would actually say to me as a child that she and I were, "survivors." By all means she was speaking from a place in which she really was trying to get us from day to day. She was a victim of domestic violence, which would often turn to physical threats on her life. She was working 40+ hours a week to keep a roof over our head and food in the house and carrying the weight of so much more all before 30 years of age. We were surviving.
I shared how functioning as a survivor when you're actually thriving and ok is a very paralyzing place to live from. I moved on from my personal story and we took a look at Jesus' temptation in the desert.
Each temptation coincides with our unconscious emotional programs for happiness. They are:
- Esteem and affection (Jump, as in Luke 4:9-11)
- Power and control (Turn stone to bread, as in Luke 4:3)
- Security and survival (Bow, as in Luke 4:5-7).
Next we discussed the power of silence by examining the events at Mount Sinai. Revolutionary events that served as a reminder of liberation. When we look at the Ten Commandments in context, God broke silence as a way to teach slaves (those being treated inhumanely) how to be human. (I had to sit with that for a bit myself, and encourage you too as well)
I asked the questions,
Do we have our own personal modern day Sinai's?
What would happen if we allowed God to break the silence in our lives?
Then I offered the idea that if we allow God to break the silence we'd be able to let go and hear the echo of our Divine dream!
I do believe there is healing to be found in revisiting hurtful things in our past with the Divine by our side, but this wasn't one of those messages. This was about letting go, not going back.
Yet, there I was, in a car that required me to keep my gaze fixed on what was behind me if I actually wanted to move.
I know where I've been, the good and the bad. This part of my story, the part where I would have normally been freaking out about the money it was going to cost to repair my car, is why I will get out and walk before I try to move forward with my neck turned and my eyes fixed on what's behind me.
We are not called to survive. We have been given a gift that allows us to operate from victory.
Keep moving forward friends.
May your days be filled with compassion, your faith remain strong and may growth be your compass.
Reference material used for this blog. Material from Gravity Center's Grounding Retreat The False Self in Action Fr. Thomas Keating Jesus Wants to Save Christians Rob Bell and my KIA that only drives in reverse