Lost

Ever get lost?

.

Ever notice how we tend to go much faster
when we’re lost?
– driving, running, even thinking.

Why is that?

.

Will we really find our way quicker if we speed up?

Does speed make ‘lost’ go away quicker –
like running away from a bee in the back yard?

And what’s so bad about being lost anyway –
that we so intensely want to get away from it?

__________

Imagine if we could harness the speed of lost –
in a swim meet or a track race.

No one could beat us!

It seems all other cares in the world disappear when we’re lost.  Only one thing really matters: our single minded focus on finding the comfort of “knowing.”  Knowing where we are, knowing when, knowing what we’re doing, knowing who we’re with, knowing who we are, knowing why we’re here!!!

Ever wonder if any of us really know?
Anything!

We all know two things for sure.  If we can read this Page, we know we were born.  And if we were born and exist now, we also know that at some point in time we will die.  In-between those two events then, in essence, we are lost.  And it seems the older we get the more clear that FACT becomes, because Time goes by faster and faster and faster as we age (transitively connecting the relationship between age and being lost via speed).  We don’t know where or if we “were” before our birth, and we don’t know where of if or what we “will be” after our death.  We don’t even know very much about our arrival here immediately after our birth.  But we do know that right now we are here, and from our birth to our death we each take individual journeys consisting of many, many different experiences.

We can consider our experiences as road signs leading down different paths along the journey.  The experiences of some paths are exciting, enjoyable, peaceful, happy, fun, bright, rewarding, successful and good, while others are treacherous, hard, sorrowful, rough, painful, dark, lonely and bad.  Once our experience has taught us that a path is not good, we usually do our best to avoid returning there.  And not all immediately pleasurable experiences lead us down a good path either, as we often learn, after the fact, later on.

So how can we take this journey, from birth to death, by the best possible route, enjoying all the good experiences available to us, and avoiding all the bad paths?

_____________________________

Well, to start with, we need an ultimate Goal.  Then we could use some Guidelines and maybe a Map.  The Goal will give us focus and purpose.  The Guidelines will point our direction – show us which paths to take and which not to take, yet give us options and opportunities to make our own decisions and freely enjoy our own experiences.  The Map will show us where others have been and how we could get to our Goal easier.

So what on earth can our ultimate Goal be?

Actually does it even have to be – on earth?  Can we plan to live our lives here and now directed toward some later time, a time we can’t even imagine?  Does our imagination limit our experiences, our accomplishments, our future?

Take for example, a fetus in a womb.  He (or she) is a living organism.  He floats around in a carefree existence, nourished, heated, protected and secure.  With no worries, his only task is growth.  But he hears, he feels, he sees and he thinks about his life and the outside influences on it.  He was conceived there.  It is his home.

Will his life end there?  He has no idea whatsoever that he even has another life to come.  A life in which he will breathe air, eat food and have to warm himself.  Maybe he will never find the security he once had as a fetus.  And how will he interact with others who may seem similar in shape but are actually very different in thought?  The fetus doesn’t know.  He doesn’t worry!  He only trusts.  He trusts that as the space in which he now exists becomes tighter and tighter, there is and always will be – Life.  His ultimate Goal is LIFE.  And his faith in his “Provider/Creator” will gain him that Life, and his future life in a form he is not even aware of!

So how can we say that once this current “phase” of our existence passes, our lives will not continue in yet another form?  And why have we forgotten to have faith in the very “Provider/Creator” who initiated the existence we are aware of?  For that same Provider/Creator, who is responsible for our pre-fetal existence is also responsible for our post-human or spiritual existence.

So if we can agree that our post-human life is inevitable, will we all experience it?  Not all fetuses experience post-fetal humanity.  And it appears that they do not even have control of whether or not they make it to post-fetal humanity – or do they?  Does the fetus have the ability to communicate with his/her Creator/mother, to impact on his survival or on the human decisions that can impact his survival (mother taking drugs, smoking, being careless about her health or activity, abortion/murder)?  He surely does!  In the Gospel of Luke 1:44, Elizabeth said to her cousin Mary, “For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.”  You see, the fetus knew and communicated with his provider/creator, Elizabeth, who exists in a subsequent life phase, by an exaggerated movement!

And so, if the fetus has the ability to intercede for his life in the next phase, we mortal humans, surely also have the ability to intercede with our Creator in a plea for our Lives in our next life phase (through spirituality).  And in doing so, we can very much enjoy the process – in peace, happiness, satisfaction, success, wisdom, etc. etc.  And if we do not make that intercession – well, we may very well wind up the way of the aborted.  It is important that we communicate our needs, our hopes, our concerns and our thanks to our Creator!  And that communication is called prayer!

So then, our ultimate Goal is LIFE in the next phase!

A goal not even of this earth, but of a place and time unknown to us, (the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven).  And the Process, the Plan, the Guidelines and the Map have already been prepared for us!!  (These are called Prayer, the Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Church.)

____________________________

Can we actually intercede/communicate with those in the spiritual realm?  Have you ever had an encounter of the “spiritual kind”?  They may be more common than you think.

Let’s start with a framework.  In order to reach our goal, we need a vehicle that can take us there.  Since we will spend a lot of our “physical” time in this vehicle, we want to know that it will last, and that its structure is secure, and that it will protect us, nourish us and keep us warm.  It will serve as our “earthly” home.  But we must remember that it is just a vehicle.  Its time will pass, while ours will continue.

Now, within this vehicle, God has gifted us with some quite remarkable senses.  In addition to the traditionally recognized five senses of sight (ophthalmoception), hearing (audioception), taste (gustaoception), smell (olfacoception or olfacception), and touch (tactioception), other senses include temperature (thermoception), kinesthetic sense (proprioception), pain (nociception), balance (equilibrioception), acceleration (kinesthesioception) and Time.  All of these senses can be means of communication from and to our Creator in the spiritual realm.  Besides these we can also communicate spiritually through other people.  Ever had something wonderful happen to you and later discover that someone was praying for you at that very moment somewhere distant?  Spiritual communication!

St. Paul, speaking to the Church of Corinth adds,

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.  For in this tent we groan, longing to be further clothed with our heavenly habitation if indeed, when we have taken it off, we shall not be found naked. For while we are in this tent we groan and are weighed down, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now the one who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a first installment.  So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.  Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.  Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil. 2Cor 5:1-5

So we must be very cautious not to get too caught up in our temporary vehicle.  While our hair, makeup, jewelry, muscle tone and cologne may make us appear sweet as a rose, how is our HEART condition?  Are we bitter or angry about anything or anyone?  Do we hold grudges?  Are we judgmental, prejudice, selfish or cruel?  Are we greedy with the gifts God has given us?  Is there any guilt within us that keeps us from being open and honest with EVERYONE?  Are we boastful with pride or humble, encouraging and uplifting?  Do we strive for attention or do we give more to others than we’d ever expect back?  What is the condition of our Heart – the engine or soul of the physical vehicle we motor around in – in this short span of existence (this phase) we call “Life”?  And how do we fine tune that engine to get us to the GOAL we so strongly desire?

Here is a starting point. . .
We’ll call it KNOWING.
From the First Letter of St. John (4:7-21)

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.  Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.  In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.  In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.  No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. 

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit.  Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.  Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.  We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  We love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Now there’s a Goal!

When we recognize that we are Loved, that much.  When we begin to live that Life of Love with ourselves and with others, then every breath we take, in some way, will bring us closer to our Goal.  It will bring us closer to God and to Everlasting Life!  And then, no matter what our day to day experiences are – whether good or bad – we’ll know they’re just stepping stones to that final Goal and they really are nothing to worry about!  We may be lost now, but in His hands – we are safe forever!!!

May our Loving God bless you always, beloved!

for Jesus
jan-1998, jmp

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