This weeks Epistle (1 Corinthians 12:1-12) is a wonderful reminder that we each have different methods to share our spiritual selves with the world. There was a time in my life, when I was much younger, that I thought bringing attention to my self in a funny or shocking way was the best way to be known and share my being. I would say outlandish things, or act out a little, people would laugh or not but I got the attention or the smile or sometimes my mother would say “Stephen”. That was her way of scolding. I learned that this only brought embarrassment to me and pain to my parents, brothers and friends. Although they never shared this with me until much later. The self awareness embarrassment never reached me with clarity until the last few years when I have spent time reflecting on my self and my past behaviors. This was part of my study and prayer to become a subdeacon in the Maronite Church. I sent my profession of faith and my petition to be ordained to our bishop this last week and have continued my reflection.
Spiritual discernment can be a very difficult but rewarding process. For… you can’t hide from your true self. As you get to know the true self that God reveals through the process of contempative prayer an awareness arises. On the river of thoughts you see all that you have been. Like a movie it arises, you become aware of it and it passes without judgement or action only new awareness. The difficult thing is that you really can not do a thing about your past behavior as you view it in your memory river. What is done is done. In some situations you can and should try to make ammends with people you may have hurt. But what you can do now is you can vow to make better choices in the future. And, God willing, those choices will keep you on the path to spiritual development, health and prosperity. One day at a time, for my friends of Bill W. So today my blog has a theme of gratitude. Gratitude for the gifts I have been given to teach and counsel as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Gratitude for the blessings of my family and friends who over the years witnessed my “out side the box” expression (verbal and behavorial) without scolding or berating me. And finaly gratitude for the forgiveness I have recieved from my friends and family and most of all the Lord. For with out forgiveness, true forgiveness, we can not go forth on the path. Please pray for me.