Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind…. (Job 38:1)
Life can seem like a whirlwind—I know mine does. Sometimes life seems chaotic, but we find that, even in what appears to be chaos, there is the order of life which is showing itself, even though it is not always apparent to us. Perhaps the significance of our life becomes more apparent looking back than it does at the time. Still, in the whirlwind that is our life, there is something creative showing itself. It will show itself more easily if we listen to the voice that’s in the midst of things, that is at the center of who we are, portrayed here as “the Lord.”
That word Lord is translated from Hebrew. It has a meaning that dates back to the Middle Ages and is associated with the Christian world. In the context of these words from the Book of Job, it is a name for the One who is at the center of all that is whirling in our world.
It’s interesting that the word whirl and world are close in sound. Our world is whirling. Certainly, our physical world revolves around an axis. But from an energetic standpoint, our personal world revolves around an axis too. For us personally, if that axis, energetically and spiritually, is not fully present, our world can go wobbly. The strength of our own personal axis depends on our listening and hearing what is happening at the very heart and core of who we are. We have that to bring to our world, and our world needs it.
This plays out in all kinds of ways. I’ve been thinking about the world we hold with other people, in whatever configurations, whether it is a family, a community, or an organization of some kind. If we are wise, then wherever we work together collectively we find ways to let the voice that would speak out of the whirlwind—out of the center of what’s happening—speak. We look to find ways to give voice to what is most central in the circumstance—most central in terms of vision and wisdom, but also what’s most central energetically and spiritually—because it is not only a matter of information; it is a matter of energy. It is the energy of love that can hold the central axis for any group of people. It doesn’t matter what group we are talking about, the dynamic of that group will go wobbly if love is not held at the center of it and if there is not the wisdom that comes from that central love.
So how is it for us in the collective situations in which we play a part? Oftentimes leadership is delegated, and along with it the responsibility to hold what’s at the center of things. We can formalize this and have an election and, in essence, say, “Let George do it.” Or now, “Let Barack do it.” The more highly motivated among us may attempt to take on the job of providing central vision and leadership for a nation or some other group of people. If we do, it usually becomes evident very quickly that it’s far more than any one person could do, and unless somebody in a position of leadership is successful in persuading others to join them in holding what’s at the center of things, they will be unsuccessful. If you listen to some of the better speeches of our presidents, they are calling us to do that. They are inspiring people to share a national perspective, to share a perspective of the whole and what is most central to that whole—at least as far as their vision is able to take us.
From a spiritual perspective, there is far more to it than from a national standpoint, but perhaps that is a place to start. The same is true for this collective endeavor Emissaries of Divine Light. There is the part in that that we each play. Even if you came here for the first time this morning, you are playing your part. It seems clear enough to me that we must each take responsibility for the parts that we play in the wholeness of things, while holding the vision and energy of the center. So what steps are we willing to take, to take responsibility to hear the voice that speaks from the center of the whirlwind, from the center of our world? And then, having heard it, to be that voice?
There are losses for a person who does that. The most obvious loss is that a person can no longer blame others for things going wrong. If you heard the President of the United States blaming his cabinet or blaming the American people for what was going wrong, you would think that sounded odd. You would probably be thinking, “Hey, we didn’t elect you to be blaming us. We elected you to be taking responsibility. And if you don’t have the right people in your cabinet, you’d better be getting other people. We elected you to take responsibility.”
I don’t know what your concept of God is, but with all of what’s gone on on Planet Earth—all the war and famine and earthquakes and everything else—I don’t think we usually think of God as making excuses for what hasn’t gone according to how He might have thought it should go, or what we might expect of God. I think usually in our picture of who and what God is, any kind of excuse would be far from the picture.
Standing at the center of the whirlwind is a place of absolute responsibility and absolute authority, no matter what anybody else does, no matter what happens. So are there steps for any of us to take, to hear that voice in our life and to, in hearing it, let it be our voice in our world? I imagine there are for anybody.
To the degree that people are not seeing and acting from what is most central to the whole, things go wobbly. Everybody may say, “Oh, I’ll take care of my thing,” often not realizing that without that perspective there is a gap between what I consider to be “my thing” and the thing that’s being done by the person next to me, and never the twain shall meet. And by the way, the whole picture isn’t fitting together very well, because the people involved aren’t seeing and acting with the vision of how it all fits together. In any endeavor, there’s always a risk of that and always the necessity for people to stand at the center of things, so they bring the vision and spirit that comes when one stands there.
It changes you when you stand in the midst of the whirlwind. It changes you to realize “I’m responsible, not just for my little thing—I’m responsible for all of it.” With that realization comes the understanding that I can’t control it all, at least not in the usual ways. I can’t make everybody do what I think they are supposed to do. I can’t make things turn out the way I think they should. So it grows you and transforms you. It makes you very religious! “I’ll just pray!” I will be still enough to discover faculties in me that I will only discover by standing at the center of things. Not standing there, you couldn’t begin to understand how you could do it. Standing there, you come up with all kinds of magical faculties you didn’t know you had. We have had those faculties all along, but they will lie dormant until such time as we stand in the midst of the whirlwind and take responsibility for the creative field that can only be held from that place.
There is an imperative to take a step into the center of things and see what happens when you hold your world from that place. For the world in which we live, we are made to be like the invisible axis that runs through the earth. There is not really an axis in the earth in the sense of something physical. There is no steel rod that runs through the center of the earth. But there is an energetic axis. That axis is beautifully symbolic of the most central dynamic that runs through us. They won’t find it in there if they operate, but there is a spiritual reality in us that is the very core of who we are. Our world needs that from us, and we have the opportunity of living and speaking and acting from that place.