There was a blog not long ago that caused a fair amount of distress among people, much of it dealing with spousery. Many viewed the blog as an 'elder vs newbie' type of deal.
So here's the scoop. Nothing wrong with being an elder. Nothing wrong with being new. What people have to understand though, is that even though a title may be granted or assumed, it takes time to be earned.
It's akin to priesthood. There are paths where the initial entitlement of priesthood is merely the beginning. Its one's babyhood, its a time to begin learning. The title is the earned through hard work. This isn't work such as counseling, preaching, leading, channeling, or divining. In the paths I am thinking of, that is actually frowned upon and the person doing so loses respect. The hard work entails study, devotion, introspection. It entails humility and the knowing of when to ask and actually engage in meaningful dialogue with those who have already been through the first five or ten years. It is the patience and fortitude to slowly gain ground, to add to one's skills and abilities and bit by bit begin using that strong repertoire of abilities to perform meaningful spiritual work.
It is a time of learning and growth. We tell children, 'Don't be in such a hurry to grow up." Why would any spouse want to do that? That's really what it is with spousery. Making that commitment is just the beginning, it is not entitlement to teach or guide. You only have those first years once, enjoy them. Learn from them. Develop a connection deeper than you can even imagine. Take those years to mature like the finest of wines. Enjoy them, they will be gone soon enough.
It’s a hard one. Having solid belief or trust in something for which there is often no proof. We have easy moments of rock solid faith but there are always those times where one’s thoughts get shaken and you just feel that quiver of shifting sands under your feet.
People always tell you, ‘Just have faith’ or ‘It’s a matter of faith’ or even worse, ‘You just don’t have enough faith.’ Ack. Makes me want to spit. Faith is a matter of standing on the precipice, looking down at the water crashing below, and deciding if you trust enough to jump. It’s all those people standing behind you telling you the water is fine but you sure as hell don’t see them diving in. It’s that voice of spirit whispering in your ear and to your heart, yet that softly silent voice is but a wisp that is there and gone. All the while you still stand on the edge, wind ruffling your hair and the sound of the water echoing in your bones. Jump… yeah.
That’s the thing with faith. You know that if you can just hang on and believe and act, well, things are going to be great. Miraculous even. But your stomach knots as you know you are in for a hurting if the whole damn thing is just wishful thinking, some kind of hypothetical little girl’s doll house built of lace and empty sugar.
Crap. So you stand there and look down, even getting a little dizzy from the height and the thought of the impact. The amazing thing about those people you know or hear about who have faith; not a single one of them always has surety. Every single one has moments of doubt, fear, and sweat. It’s the nature of that beast named Faith. It is what is absolutely amazing about faith and spirituality and religion and the gods and the powers. They are all so intangible that a noun is used to even describe the practice of their paths: faith. It’s belief, trust, confidence, a pledge. When you are there in the full grace of faith, you are there in this graceful sublimity that only the deepest of trust can open the way for, a glowing union of one’s own heart and mind that astounds.
But as all amazing things like love, passion, orgasm, and grace; faith is a variable creature. You have to consistently capture it, feed it, cultivate it’s growth, and even then realize there are just times it sleeps. Even then you have to realize there are times it shows it’s very elusivity that is so much a part of its nature that people often speak casually of losing faith like sand through their fingers.
Even with the knowing, maintaining faith is hard. But it has to be done. People with faith, people like you and I, we are the bravest of souls because even in those moments of doubt, even in those times of pain and isolation we continue on because we trust. It is the core of spirituality. Trust, faith, the courage to press on.
So all the while you stand there at the edge because sleeping elusive faith or not, there are things that just have to be done. So we do it again, we take that deep breath and…
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