Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
(Previn Hudetz offered preservice music on piano. Donald Ford sang “Hallelujah,” by Leonard Cohen, accompanied by Previn on piano, Tisha Hudetz on cello and Keith Anderson on soprano sax.)
Thank you, my precious friends. Following the song, the word “hallelujah” is hovering in the air and I know we want to say it out loud. Let’s all say “Hallelujah.” (All joined Joyce in saying “Hallelujah.”) It means “Praise ye the Lord. Give all praise to the Lord.” What a powerful message! I know that a few of the verses to the song might be a little disturbing to some. But what would be more disturbing to me would be if we could not let our hearts break open, like the person who wrote that song—if we could not let ourselves break open, not to despair but to something wonderful and great.
It’s a powerful act to surrender. It’s one of the most powerful things we can do: to just give up and say, “I don’t know. I don’t know what to do next.” But in that act of surrendering and giving ourselves up and saying, “Praise God! Hallelujah!” a window opens for something to come to us, the next thing that we need to know, the next thing that we need to do. I have seen this magic work over and over again in my life, if I would just surrender. That’s how we get to do the next great thing, the brand-new thing. And who amongst us wants to do the same old thing? Is that what we want to do? No, we want to do something wonderful and fresh and new.
We are creator-beings. We are here to carry out the work of our Creator. And it’s not a prefab job. The way that we create is by being intensely poised in the moment to see what it is that we each need to do to let the creative process continue on in the most creative way in our lives. Wow, doesn’t that simplify my life! No more worrying about the past and fussing about the future and worrying about how I’m going to do this, and how that is going to happen… The creator stays in the moment and is all eyes and ears, open to see and hear exactly what it is that is next. When I realize how much time I spend out of that creative moment, it’s a cryin’ shame! And I want to stop doing it, because it’s so much more fun to stay in the moment and create.
I just want to take a moment and acknowledge all the wonderful ones who are here, especially anyone who is here for the first time. I’m very happy to welcome you this morning. I’m mindful of lots of people who aren’t here this morning, too, who I miss when they’re not here. I think of them, I hold them in my heart, and I know they’re doing important work where they are and that they are with us in the ongoing creation that we’re all involved in.
So, as creator-beings, we have this wonderful gift of energy and life that flows through us, which is ours to do with what we will. It’s all about energy. We’ve talked about that recently. And it’s about how we use the energy that has been gifted to us.
I notice that there’s lots of opportunity to give our energy to things, even in little ways, to express our agreement with each other. I was asking Ruud West the other night about the Native American expression of “A-ho!” When someone does something or says something that they want to agree with and support, they speak it right here from the gut: “A-ho!” And that’s good energy. A-ho! I like that energy. It’s a way of connecting and saying, very physically, “I’m with you.”
I’ve been trying to think what could we come up with? In a lot of churches it’s “Amen!” It takes some of the same stomach muscles to say that word. One of my favorite TV preachers is Joyce Meyer, and once when I heard her speak she said, “You know, I’m preaching a lot better than you’re ‘amening.’” I thought, wow, that’s really forthright; and I like that because it gets people engaged. I love that energy! There’s a longing in me for us to participate and create together that physically—to really be enjoying each other that way and giving each other the energy that we need to create what it is that we’re creating together.
This morning after I woke up, as I lay in bed, I opened myself to the Most High and asked, “What is the message I need to bring this morning?” One line came to me, and it was “We are here to do a great work.” We are here to do a great work. Amen! I love work. I have always loved work. I grew up in a family where we even worked on our vacations—we redecorated our house. That was fun! So work has never been a problem for me. Part of what I loved about this ministry when I first touched it was that people worked together. And for me, that was an act of creation, and I knew I had met the people I wanted to be with, because they knew how to create.
I’ve been working with this ministry for thirty-five years now, a good portion of my life. And I have to say I still love the work, and I’ve come to see that there’s a lot more than just external, physical work. These days, what I’m really excited about is the internal work that each one of us is doing to clear the space for the fullness of ourselves to come through and be the full creator-beings that we’re meant to be. And I’m loving that kind of work.
I really do think that it has to do with this ability to surrender and then awaken. It isn’t until we surrender and let go that, suddenly, we can awaken and see what it is that we have to do. I feel so much joy to know that and to be continually learning about the power of that in my life.
It’s a great thing to be about my Father’s business, to be carrying on my family’s work, the family business. I love that. And I’m really thankful to have had this opportunity to share something of my heart and my energy with you, and to feel yours so well engaged with mine this morning.