With so much winter gray and cold, I am – I’m sure, like you -- obsessing on light and warmth. (Heat, actually – 99 degree heat. Just for a day or two in order to warm up!)
I’ve been thinking about light, and came across an old, tattered Tarot card in a parking lot the other day. It was of The Hermit – a wise seeker who holds a lantern as a beacon of light and understanding. This arrived the same day I was finishing my spiritual autobiography for my next possible venture in life. (Funny how that happens, isn’t it?) Below is an excerpt from that autobiography that describes a point in my life where “all the lights went on.”
“From ages 16-20, I read through every religious textbook I could find. I took college courses on Comparative Religion. I studied Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Wicca, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and every mainstream Protestant denomination you can name. I particularly began to focus on Hinduism. This was a spiritual turning point for me.
To this day, Hinduism informs much of my belief in the nature of God. It took a bit of work reconciling India’s caste system’s influence on its reincarnation teachings, but once I got past that, I grew to love the Song of God – the Bhagavad Gita – with its mythical stories of Krishna and Arjuna illustrating the struggle of man to accept and trust in God. I agreed with its open embracement of all life, and how it accepted and revered Jesus…and Buddha…and Krishna, and other avatars who embodied the Divine. I loved how it taught that every single thing in existence was sacred, and was to be honored as such. It felt correct to me how it taught that God – Brahman – answered to many names, and that human beings were truly on an evolutionary spiritual path, where Oneness with God could be achieved over countless existences. This certainly gave me a great deal of comfort in light of Christianity’s insistence that we “get it right the first time” during this life, or face eternal damnation (which felt like way too much pressure on us poor human beings!)
And so, because of my love newfound understanding of Life through Hinduism’s eyes, I experienced a personal paradigm shift. I found myself becoming more gentle and respectful of all life, including all people. I became a vegetarian, and became interested in organizations dedicated to preserving the natural world. I began an intentional spiritual journey to understand Creation, and to work to change myself from within in order to allow God to, in some way, work through me.
I began to meditate on a daily basis. I was thrilled to find a book entitled “The Art of Christian Meditation,” which brought both of my religious worlds together. I was awestruck that I could allow myself to meditate and focus on Jesus as well as a nameless Great Spirit that has many names. It was at this point, when I began to blend both religious traditions – Christianity and Hinduism – into my spirituality, that as they say, ‘all of the lights went on.’”
It is always a joy to pause and reflect on how God has led you. Take some time and think about it. And once you find your light…remember Jesus' call to...
“…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works,
and give glory to your Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5: 16