(If you were not able to be with us on Sunday, let me encourage you to view or listen to the sermon (click here to view sermon). Doing so will help this blog make more sense … and your pastor seem a little less crazy!)
On “the morning after” there were voices in my head . . .
“I can’t believe you said all that . . . they are going to think, ‘Great! My pastor is nuts!’”
“Did you see all the first time guests on Sunday? They’ll never be back after that sermon!”
“Was it even a sermon? Did you do the text justice? You didn’t exegete the passage from Psalms. You just gave a picture of what the psalmist was feeling. Does that constitute a sermon?”
Then I had to stop and remember . . .
Why did I say what I did?
Because sadness is real.
Sadness is an emotion we feel because of a loss of something.
AND – we all experience it because we all experience loss of some kind or another. Even if it is just the loss of security . . . (Allow me to go down a rabbit trail for one minute – – – far too many “church fights” happen because people are sad and they just cannot identify the emotion as sadness. Sadness of the loss of the way things used to be, etc.)
Anyway . . . back to the main point . . .
Sunday’s message was on dealing with the emotion of sadness. I would have been the biggest hypocrite ever if I had stood, offered some nice theological declarations, and acted as if I thought religion is an absolute in conquering sadness.
Religion is not the absolute. But having a foundation of faith in the totality of Divine Love is.
Why did I reveal so much about my life and reveal my own weakness?
Because for some crazy reason a group of people seem to be willing to listen to me pontificate week after week. I try to pontificate things that I believe are of the Spirit of God/Love . . . so, if there is something that I can share that has potential to make a difference and help people, then it is my responsibility to share it.
So why the voices in my head telling me I’m stupid, weak, or made a huge mistake and now will ultimately hurt the church?
Because some of our voices are negative ones. They are “bad,” and for whatever reason in this world, there always seems to be a constant duel of bad versus good.
In my journey, I believe I am called to live for an audience of One; the One being God.
And God is Love. So . . . the bottom line is I am called to live for Love. I find that when I am living for and in Love then I feel the free.
However, there is a pull for me to “not” live in Love. We all feel it . . . and for me that pull sometimes comes by the voices in my head. They cause me to feel insecure, sad, and afraid.
However, I also know that . . .
“What we think determines how we feel and how we act.”
So . . . I need to be very aware of what I think.
I confessed to a friend that the voices were LOUD inside my head on “the morning after.”
My friend helped me come up with a response to the voices so that I could put them in their proper place . . .
“Voices – shut the hell up!”
Yep – I used a bad word but that IS the tenacity I must use with the voices.
The voices in our heads cause us to feel “lesser than.”
We all have them.
Sometimes they are just louder than others.
Those voices tell us we are not enough.
The voices tell us we see ourselves differently than we really are.
The voices cause us to feel as if we will never measure up to what we “should be.”
Truth is, there is no “should be” as long as we are living in Love.
The canvas is clear and we get to paint the picture by the way that we live.
There are no lines for us to color inside and the canvas is not “paint by numbers.”
We get to choose. We paint the picture that is called life.
The picture is most beautiful if it is grounded in the foundation of Love.
Even if the picture has a little blue on it because there are times in that journey that we each face the emotion of sadness.
In order to be able to paint our picture, many of us have to battle the mean voices in our heads and learn to listen to the more subtle ones . . .
The ones saying, “This is my child, my beloved. In whom I am well pleased.”
We each have a voice and it is that of the Holy Spirit; the voice of God that lives and resides deep within us.
This is a voice that never leaves, yet is often buried by the harsh and vociferous voices that cause us to not see ourselves as beautiful children of The Divine.
Another voice spoke to me on Monday through text, “Allowing others to see what you may consider a weakness is actually a great strength.”
For me, on the morning after, I must learn to listen to the voices that convey peace, hope, love, and strength.
What are your voices? To whom are you listening?