A lot of people think a life of devotion, a life of faith, means rigidity and strict rules. That to believe in God and submit to a higher Will makes you unhappy and confined.
That could not be farther from the truth.
My experience of Christianity, enriched by my community of Quakers, yogis, and mystics, is that faith opens everything up to greater depth and beauty and wholeness. It does not make everything easy. This human experience is hard, and we must go through it, warts and all. But there is a great Master that can hold our hand and guide us so we’re not alone.
There is a season for everything. There are times of hopelessness and despair, or relaxation, or joy. There are times where we wrestle with demons and questions and don’t know how to figure everything out. That is part of life, and there is no escaping it. It flat-out sucks. But if we open to Holiness, we have a force to hold our hands and hold our hearts and show us everything is going to be okay.
Despite how desperately we want to, we do not control our lives.
I say this from experience. That’s the only truth I know. My truth does not come through reading books or the Bible, though I do read the Bible as well as other sacred texts, and they all enter my heart and nourish me. I say all this from many, many heartbreaks. I say it because I’ve lost everything tangible in my life, and even, at one point, my own mind. And in moments of being flayed out and exposed, with no way to save myself on my own, I had to ask something bigger to do the work for me. I asked Light—begged it, in fact—to take over, to shut out the darkness. And that has allowed me to come to accept, simply, what is. That’s where happiness lies.
I have battled, and I have fought my way through life, looking so hard for solutions, trying so hard to do everything right, to keep problems from happening. I am a warrior. But I know now that I don’t have to fight that way. I don’t have to be tough and hardened to get through this world. Instead, I can use all that strength and wisdom to bow down and give myself over to something Large and Supreme. I can ask it to use me. Just use me. I say, You are better than I am, and Wholly Good. And I can’t even begin to understand or grasp it, so take over. I’ll let you guide the way.
Strength lies in surrender and gentleness to the One, not in force. But that doesn’t mean we don’t stand up when something is wrong. In fact, when we do have to stand up and step out and do something Good, when we have to battle the face of darkness, we can do it more effectively in the arms of a force greater than us. We do it with the force of Love. Love says yes, sometimes, and Love also says no. Love lets you in the garden, and other times, stops you at the gate. But trust that Great Love. It is a brilliant, majestic power greater than any I have ever known.