On union with God.

All beings can fully hear from God except humankind. We were created without the ability to automatically hear and do the will of God. All other beings (animals and plants included) do the will of God without thought or question. Yet we are different.

Some people can hear God better than others, but no one can fully hear from God like the rest of creation can. Is this a blessing for us, or a handicap?

It means we have to work harder than dogs to be complete.
It means we are dumber than rocks.
It means we are not as clever as cats.

It means God is beyond pleased when…
We are able to push through and overcome our innate obstacles and reconnect.
When we are able to use our gifts for good.
When we are able to join together and act as one to improve the world.

Obstacles make our souls stronger, just like exercise and resistance training makes our muscles and bones stronger.

God needed to create humans to prove to God how good a Creator God is. We are the height of God’s ability. God does not want blind obedience. That is easy to create. If we knowingly and willingly rise above our nature and act in a civilized manner then we are a delight to God.

We are hampered, and yet we can not only endure but thrive. Yet to do that we must intentionally choose to connect with God. God is our missing link. When we reconnect we are complete and whole.

We do not have to die to reunite with God. In fact, reunion with God at death is automatic and easy. The barrier and hindrance that is our bodies is removed. Rejoining with God while in the body is the greatest accomplishment.

Notice how we cheer for someone who has lost a leg and runs a race with a prosthesis. Just having the chutzpah to enter, to even try, is a big deal. To make it to the end at all is huge. To win? Amazing. This is how God feels every single time any one of us unites with God.

Communion isn’t just a ritual or a sacrament. It isn’t just something done on Sunday morning. It means “union-with” and it isn’t limited to a denomination or a practice.

The secret? Look at what Jesus did at the Last Supper, when he initiated what is now the Communion service. He took the simple foodstuffs that were served at every supper table, every day. He didn’t choose something unusual that would be difficult for people to get. He took the everyday, so that we’d be able to do this every day. Then he gave thanks to God for it, and shared it.

Give thanks for and bless everything you are about to receive. Not after, before. We are used to saying thanks only after we get what we want. Do that too, and before. See how your perspective changes. Give thanks for whatever you are going to get, or experience, or be able to do. This applies to everything – food, experiences, material things. Be always thankful. No matter what it is, trust that it is coming from God, as God has created and is within everything.

Human / Animal

The first test for humans was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We were told “Don’t eat this, it is bad for you.” We failed that test. God gave us our minds for reason and wants us to exercise self-control. This is what God was testing – were we humans or were we animals.

Self-control is the mark of a human versus an animal. Delayed gratification and restraint are the hallmarks of a human being – not just someone who is in the shape of the human but someone who actually is able to act like one. Saving versus spending, planning ahead – these are hallmarks of a mature human.

Yet God didn’t abandon us there when we failed that test. God stuck with us. God keeps giving us chances. God says “I set before you a blessing and a curse.” We have a choice about how we spend our time, our money, and our energy. We can use them for ourselves or for others. We can waste or use wisely.

Sure we have free will. But we also will experience the consequences of our choices too. If we choose to go against God’s commands, we will suffer. God doesn’t punish us because of our bad actions, we do.

It is like being told “Don’t touch the stove – it is hot.” When a child touches it anyway and burns her fingers, it isn’t the parent who his punishing her with her burned fingers. She did it to herself. The parent knows better, knows that this otherwise safe item, usually cool to touch, isn’t safe right now and warns the child. The child has a choice. She isn’t being forced to obey. If she chooses well then she has proven she is mature. God gives us these same kinds of choices.

People blame God for their heart disease and diabetes when they are the result of their unhealthy life choices such as eating salty fried processed food and not exercising. The problem is that they blame God for their own bad choices. They don’t take personal responsibility for their actions. They are acting like animals and not like humans.

Animal logic

How do animals know how to do everything that they do? Cats know how to give birth and take care of their kittens without another cat present to tell them how. On their own, they know how to do what needs to be done. This is important for us to think about as human beings.

We think that we have become more civilized than animals because of our language and our culture. And in some ways we have been, but in some ways we have lost quite a bit.

It is important for us to think about how animals are able to know what to do without the tools that we use to know what to do. Termites are able to build huge mounds. Each one knows what to do. They know to go outside and get dirt and bring it inside and build up walls. Each termite has its own particular task, and together they build an amazing structure. They are more coordinated and more organized than we humans. We disagree and argue all the time about how to take care of ourselves and each other and we get into wars because of it.

We should study the animals so that we learn their secret. I don’t mean put them in a lab and study them. I mean leave them exactly where they are and watch and think about them. Ants and bees and wasps do it – they all know how to work together to build something amazing. How come we have to have an architect and a blueprint and staff meetings? How come we have to have a vision statement?

We are not all on the same page. Perhaps that is the problem. Perhaps the fact that we have put our knowledge and our power into books instead of tapping into the source of all knowledge and all power is the problem.

All knowledge and power comes from God. It comes down to us and we put into books but then we think that all knowledge comes from books. Now don’t get me wrong, I like books. I think books are important. But I think that we humans have forgotten that there is a source beyond books. There’s the source of knowledge that we are able to access beyond books.

We have shortchanged ourselves.

We do it when we have students and teachers. We do it when we have parents and children. We do it when we have ministers and congregants. We do it when we have bosses and employees. We do it every single time we have a hierarchy of who is in charge and who is lesser. We do it every single time we say that somebody has all the knowledge and somebody else is lesser. It is time for all of us to take back our own power and her own knowledge and tap into the source of all power and knowledge.

Each one of us has the ability to connect to our Maker and our Source and be stronger. Each one of us is strong enough to know what needs to be done and do our own part. We just have to learn how to trust that inner voice.

But of course part of it is learning how to seek that voice and then when we do hear it to actually act upon it.