I’m continuing some gentle study of First Nations spirituality. As I described a couple of weeks ago, the Elder showed me a gentle and grounded way to live. This morning, as I read about their understanding of the dependence that human beings have on plants and animals for their daily needs, I was aware how different their ways are from the ways I’ve been taught. I would need to live within a community that both carried those truths and lived from them to learn their ways. There is ‘a way’ that they follow.
In the early years, the New Testament years, to follow Jesus, the Risen Christ was to follow ‘The Way’. There was a new way to live, a way of forgiveness, of healing, of transformation that led into a new awareness of connectedness, that God’s love extended to ALL and we, who walked ‘The Way’, were to live as peacemakers and healers.
Yet as a child growing up in the church, I didn’t learn about ‘The Way’. I learnt rules, a moral code, prayers that were said like memory work, stories that were remote, not life shaping, and I learnt catechism. As a young adult, when I had a life-changing encounter with Jesus, I got closer to finding ‘The Way’ to live. I experienced some healing and re-direction in my life, yet many of my teachers still emphasized correct thinking rather than embracing me in a new way of life. They taught me a correct reading of scripture rather than an ongoing experiential encounter with God.
Is this not part of the reason many of our churches are empty on a Sunday morning?
As human beings, my awareness is that we don’t search for a moral code or correct teachings, but we do, in our most enlightened moments, search for a way to live, a well worn pathway that will brings a sense of purpose and meaning into our lives, a way that will teach how to get along with ourselves, with others, with our earth and with our Creator.
Today I sit with my Bible beside me, eager to enter the stories of Jesus, ready to follow his way of life. I know I’m to follow his way. He is my Chief Elder. I’m to continue to let him be my teacher. I’m to immerse myself within him and let him show me the other teachers he gifts me with, like my dog! I don’t need to persuade anyone else to follow me, but I will share, hopefully with growing humility, what My Elder has taught me and maybe together we will follow Him.
If this is interesting to you, please show support by sharing it with a friend. Let’s broaden the contemplative pathway.
Love and prayers
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada
Mystic in Motion
3 thoughts on “The Way”
Thank you so much, Anne. I fully connect with your childhood church experiences. I struggled with reconciling the heavy layer of teachings and ritual and my loving Holy spiritual experiences. Somehow they did not seem to blend well. People did not speak of personal experiences. Confusing as a child, teen, young adult. Still finding The Way and encouraging others as they discover The Way.
Sounds like we share more than a name Anne! I’m glad to hear you’re still finding The Way. Let’s keep on it! I’m sadden to see our church life so busy, full of activity yet so often people lacking in being able to talk about a life-changing encounter with God.
Yes, i often feel the hamster treadmill running at church. It saddens me. I once heard of a church that for one year stopped all its programs and prayed, waiting to see what new, clear direction they might move. Pretty dramatic. Very difficult to do. I never did hear where they ended up. Did you ever hear that story?