Who is Your God?

Each one of us began to slave and struggle to make himself a god, which he imagined he was supposed to be. Each one slaved in the service of his own idol–his consciously fabricated social self. . .this is Original Sin.” (Thomas Merton in a letter to Daisetz T. Suzuki, 1959)

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake  will save it.” (Luke 9:23-25)

All our troubles are wrapped around these two statements are they not?

We cannot follow Jesus because we are wrapped up in our own godness, our own sense that we are imaging God and Christ correctly, and as we need and wish them to be. We are caught up in the false belief that we are somehow separate from the divine presence within us. It is us, and we are it, if we only could see that.

We are afraid to relinquish our supposed grasp on ourselves, afraid to let go and let God, afraid to trust in God’s freely given grace, his perfect kenosis. And only when we do, can we be that perfect image, that kenotic presence to the world, as God.

Enter into the presence of the Holy, and lay down your burdens of ego. Open the door and allow the Divine within to guide you. Lose your life, and in the paradox, find it.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 18:17:47

    Sherry, I don’t think I’ve ever read a holier description of evolutionary creation than what you’ve given us here. It is poetry, plain and true. Thank you.

    Of course, my quasi-hippie mind instantly reached for Joni Mitchell’s powerful line from “Woodstock:” We are stardust. We are golden. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden. And this suddenly adds a new dimension to the desert journey’s paradoxes. It leads us to Calvary and the Garden, to renewal that returns us to innocence. I shall carry this with me every step of the way. Thank you!


    PS: I can’t help myself from passing along the benediction from last night’s Ash Wednesday service. It fairly catapulted me into the season.

    So let the ashes come as beginning and not as end, the first sign but not the final.
    Let them rest upon you as invocation and invitation, and let them take you the way that ashes know to go.
    May they mark you with the memory of fire and of the life that came before the burning–the life that rises and returns and finds its way again.

    I pray this for you and all of us who walk this wilderness with Christ.


    • Sherry
      Mar 12, 2011 @ 11:30:07

      Oh Tim so nice of you to say. Hey, hippie here! lol. I must say, its one of my most dear thoughts, it’s all so beautiful …seeing God’s work in such simplicity, so elegant, and yet creating such amazing diversity and complexity. Blessings Tim


  2. Tim
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 18:31:24

    (And I see in my excitement I posted my comment on yesterday’s reflection on today’s. Please feel free to move it, if you like.)

    Our own “godness”–yes! With each new journey, I’m more convinced of the wisdom of the 40-day duration. It takes that long (at least) for us to walk out of ourselves, for our self-imagined “godness” to burn off and its sharp edges to erode, so we can stand at the cross pure and powerless, beholding God with none of us blocking our view.

    Your post reminds me that in these early days of the experience, when we are just beginning to grapple with this dilemma, we panic a bit. There’s so much to do! And then we take a deep breath, remembering the transformation happens in the process. The desert has its role in our reshaping, doesn’t it? I love how Job puts it: “God knows the way that I take; when God has tested me I will come forth as gold.” Not self-idolizing gold, but refined and pure and holy, fit for God’s altar at Calvary.

    I’m so grateful to wander this wilderness with you! Already, you’ve lavished us with great riches that will help shape our journeys into truly transformative adventures!



    • Sherry
      Mar 12, 2011 @ 11:32:27

      Yes Tim, we are so used to speed in everything, we don’t remember that the best of things often take simple time…left to ferment, that is the work that goes on inside, and I think that we always expect too much too soon. We must quiet ourselves in the mystery and let it stew for a while. It’s wonder to read your posts and in some sense I’m nurtured into a new avenue.


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