Sunday, May 22, 2011
Perceptions of a Porch Dweller -- Rapture
I don't watch the news. In fact, I don't watch TV at all other than when I feel like popping a DVD in to watch a movie, which isn't very often. I don't go searching for the news on the internet. I generally receive news about what is occurring in the world from others around me. My mother watches TV quite a bit, and periodically throughout the day will give me brief news updates. She's become like a home reporter :), and if it wasn't for her updates I'd be totally out of the loop, which frankly, doesn't bother me. However, surprisingly, I didn't hear about the whole rapture business from my mother, but from my neighbor....on Thursday morning.
My neighbor and I sat on my front porch in our jammies, she with her big mug of coffee, and I had my cup of tea. I head out to the porch each morning to bring in the new day, and when my neighbor saw me step outside she asked if it was okay to sit with me, and I gladly welcomed her. We chatted about this and that, and then she casually asked, "Are you ready for the Rapture on Saturday?" I honestly didn't know what she was talking about, and had to ask for clarification. That's when I first heard about Harold Camping's prediction. I couldn't help it, I laughed. Then my neighbor brought up a quote from the Bible, which I had to look up on the internet to find her reference, "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night." ( 1 Thessalonians 5:2 ).
...a thief in the night.
Why do you suppose Paul used those words? He goes on to say: "While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief..."
Night...darkness. What is he referring to? There are a lot of superstitious folks out there afraid of those words when it comes to a biblical context. Some will interpret it as downright evil. Hell, fear has a way of making us believe anything, starting with imaginary monsters under our beds when we were children. We were convinced they were real, and we'd put our entire focus on them, making sure our limbs stayed well within the boundary of the bed's edge, otherwise we just knew the monsters would get us. What did it take to finally convince us that there were no monsters under there? A light turned on. There was nothing there, but we acted as if there was. We were trying to keep ourselves safe from something that didn't even exist. True safety was found by actually taking a look, seeing that there was nothing there. The facts. Then the light of understanding was turned on as well in our mind, and we were thankful, and in that relief we could finally sleep in true safety. Indeed, we realized there was nothing to fear, so safety wasn't even an issue anymore. We came to a place of easy rest, no longer feeling the need to protect ourselves from anything.
"The light shines in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." ( John 1:5 )
Darkness equals ignorance. That's all. We are in the dark, we don't know. Clueless, until the light of understanding dawns. Where the light hits is in our own mind, our consciousness, and when it hits, we will never be the same again. We cannot fall back on not knowing anymore when now we know a thing. How insane would it be to find out there are no monsters under the bed, only to continue acting as if there was?!
We fear what we don't know, what we don't understand. Fear is born from ignorance, but as soon as we understand, or know a thing, everything in us settles down and is able to rest. Fear always projects into a future that hasn't even happened, but we act as if it has. This is caused by our desire to be right about what we know..."leaning on our own understanding." If we slow down before acting...think...we will be able to see a fear thought for what it is...mostly, in adults especially, it is a projection of the future based on past experiences. There is no standing in the moment, being consciously aware of what is, in actuality, happening. Meaning, there really is no monster under the bed.
When Paul says destruction will come on them suddenly as a woman in labor, he is talking about what happens when we act on our own fear. Who among you hasn't jumped the gun, projected into a future that hadn't even happened yet, believing you knew what was coming and acted accordingly, only to find out later you were wrong? I'll give you an extreme example...my ex husband had a deep seeded fear of abandonment, and no matter how much I stated I loved him, no matter how firmly I stood committed to our marriage, nothing convinced him that his fear was not well founded. He had too many validations to believe otherwise, beginning with his mother. He didn't understand that, as an adult, he was the one who kept validating it himself by acting on the belief. He prepared for my leaving that marriage...and he did that by keeping one foot out the door, with one eye steadily seeking another partner, "just in case." He also saw every little thing that went wrong as proof that I was gearing to leave him. Yet in his acts he was the one laying the groundwork for the destruction of our marriage...because he would never look under the bed to see if there really was a monster. Meaning, he never put himself totally in the moment, with me, to actually see that what he feared wasn't even happening. When he did finally see, when the light was turned on, it was too late...the destruction of our marriage was already done, and there was no going back. He had given birth to it, brought it into existence by his acting on the fear within himself. He saw nightmares and enemies where there was none.
God is Spirit. And it is within the spiritual realm, which includes our own thoughts and emotions, where our greatest battle is taking place. The outside is just a reflection of the inside. The Lord does indeed come like a thief in the night...in our individual night, our darkness, in our ignorance. We will not know the day or the hour or even the minute...but of a sudden, the light of understanding will be upon us. There will come an unmistakable Presence that is felt from within, and our lives will never be the same, because our inner understanding, our inner sight, our perception is forever altered. There is no going back to ignorance. We can try to hide behind a bush, or under a rock, or in a corner, but we know without a doubt that we have been altered.
I'll leave you with this: The Day of Judgment is your own. God is not judging you, yet under the Light of His love you come to the realization, the conscious awareness, of just how much you have erred in your thinking. It is only we who, for a time, judge ourselves as the light of understanding shines brightly on our dark places within, ( and the time taken through this process is as individual as the individual ). In every single way you have judged another, you have judged yourself. Meaning, what you see over there is also in you, otherwise you would not see it. What you choose to fix your gaze on, whether it be the monster in a person, or the Divine, is a consideration worth some time and effort. For if you look upon each person you meet as someone who is a potential enemy, motivated by a desire to constantly seek safety and protect yourself, then an enemy you will find. Yet if you choose to look at another as someone new, take them as they are in the moment, coming from a place of no need to protect yourself from monsters, more often than not you will find friendship and joy in the meeting place. How they handle things is their business, and entirely up to them. Your only business is your part. But know this: The good you see there in them is what is real. Everything else is their own fear manifesting itself, because that is what they are choosing to believe, and in believing, act on and express.
I believe a rapture is found when you can finally see, and hold, all the Good that is in you is the only real thing there is. You are that, and only that, and the good news is that everything else was and is just stuff that was added to you, either said by another and you believed it, took it on, or a mistaken thought put there by your self because of something you think you did, or didn't do. It is found when you can comfortably rest in the Love of God, and have nothing rise up in your mind to find you unworthy, although the world may think otherwise. Let them point their accusing finger, because they don't know what it is they are seeing in you. They see themselves. Christ rises from within you. It is the Light of Christ that shines in the dark of your mind and heart, and brings you understanding and enlightenment. And the Light of Christ is given to abide in each and every one of us.
God's name, that He gave to Moses:
I am that I am.
Be still, and know that I am, God...