Bringing the Grandeur of God
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
The world can change radically in an instant. We see radical, rapid change when we look out into our world and we see what’s happening in so many places. The recent tsunami that did so much damage in Japan was traveling over five hundred miles an hour. That brings about pretty quick change.
How do you see that change? The change that you see in the world and the change that you feel in your own capacities—how do you relate to those? How we relate to the creative process working in us and around us will have a substantial bearing on the outcome. Everything has a part to play and everything has a message to bring—can we discern that? Everyone has a part to play and everyone has their message to bring. How will we bring ours? From what part of us will we access the message that is ours to bring to our worlds, through everything that we do in our daily lives?
Everything we do carries our message, carries our intent, and carries our particular, specific and unique energy. When we gather together sharing that awareness, there is a force and a power in the world that can bring and steward radical change.
I’d like to read a poem—Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur.”
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out like shining from shook foil.
It gathers to a greatness like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
That poem was written in the late 1800s. I wonder how this man would describe the world he would see if he was alive in these days. There has been radical change in the world since those times. In reading his words, his view of humankind’s impact on the world was clearly very negative and he sought some comfort in the fact that nature, at least, maintained a presence of something that was good and wholesome.
I have to ask, is it really only up to nature to do that, to embody something that’s whole and wholesome, holy in the world? Well, we know that that’s not so. We know that these capacities of ours, of body, mind and heart, are truly here for that purpose too—to bring wholesomeness, to bring wholeness, to bring holiness. In fact, I believe that the capacities of the whole of humanity were designed for that purpose. It seems that something’s gone a little astray. But when we look superficially, it’s unlikely that we see the full extent of what is really happening. On the surface, even when you look to nature, there seems to be a lot of destruction going on, things eating things, things destroying things. But that is a superficial take of what goes on in natural cycles, and the whole natural creative process might not be seen.
I think the same thing applies to our worlds: If we look superficially, if we just accept the drama that’s fed to us by the media, for instance—the very prevalent stories of doom and gloom—we could hold a predominantly negative view of what’s working out.
But I say, if we look a little deeper, with some understanding of how the creative process works, we can see something different working out. It’s that perspective that assists in bringing a creative outcome because we are here to steward that outcome in a creative way. That’s what we’re here to do: to allow the creative process to move freely through our capacities of body, mind, heart, so that God’s spirit may be present through us, in the earth, through all that is going on. Ultimately that applies to the whole of humanity.
I read an article recently by Lynne McTaggart (the author of a number of books, including The Field) on her Internet blog. It is called “Survival of the Fairest.” This is an excerpt from the article:
“The world as we know it is going down,” a Wall Street broker told reporters in September 2008, after Lehman Brothers collapsed and Morgan Stanley threatened to follow suit. It is the “end of capitalism as we know it,” declared filmmaker Michael Moore, when American auto giant General Motors filed for bankruptcy.
It is the end of our dependence on fossil fuel, announced President Barack Obama, about the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion. It is the end of nature, wrote Bill McKibbin in his book of the same name. It is the end of oil, wrote journalist Paul Roberts in his book of the same name. It is the end of food because it is the end of oil, declared Roberts in his follow-up book. With various Japanese reactors poised for a meltdown, it is the end of nuclear power.
For those who take stock in the Mayan Long Count calendar and the apocalyptic significance of 2012, it is the beginning of the end of the world.
But the crises we face on many fronts are symptomatic of a deeper problem, with more potential repercussions than those of any single cataclysmic event. They are simply a measure of the vast disparity between our definition of ourselves and our truest essence.
For hundreds of years we have acted against nature by ignoring our essential connectedness and defining ourselves as separate from our world. We’ve reached the point where we can no longer live according to this false view of who we really are.
While it doesn’t always appear to be so, in the face of all the factors and statistics that we get from those who are supposed to know these things, there is an alternative scenario. There is another way for things to work out: for those who know the truth, to see reality more clearly and to bring that clarity into their worlds. This morning we can see a whole lot more clearly through these Dome windows. Yesterday the glass panels that had become hazy over the years were replaced with new clear ones. There’s something beautifully symbolic about that—someone through their generosity of spirit, bringing greater clarity of vision for us all.
There is further clear evidence of generosity of spirit in the Dome this morning; you will have an opportunity to enjoy it for yourself in a moment. Two people have donated some additional components for our new sound system to make what was already a good system really great. When we bring generosity of spirit together with the power of God, there is an unstoppable power for restoration. Just listen to this!
(A recording was played of “Fanfare for the Common Man,” by Aaron Copeland.)
When the “common man,” you and I, bring fully our uncommon generosity of spirit, that aspect of the spirit of God that’s unique to each one of us, we have the presence of the Grandeur of God in our midst. Then the care and restoration of our beautiful planet, Mother Earth, is assured.
April 4th, 2011
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