When we deny the gifts God has given us and the call to be a vessel of God’s love, peace, joy, healing, etc. in the world, we suffer – not because God is punishing us, but as a natural consequence of denying our gifts, our truth and our call. In this week’s Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church, find support for overcoming the fears that keep you from living your truth.
Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter
For Sunday, November 16, 2014
Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”
MT 25: 14-30
PV 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31
PS 128: 1-5
1 Thess 5: 1-6
The Consequence of Ignoring our Gifts
“For to everyone who has, more will be given … but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
Once upon a time, there was a young woman from, Bingen, a town along the Rhine. She was given the gift of hearing and knowing the voice of God. Hildegard was her name. Frightened of this voice that asked her to write about God, about God’s healing gifts, about God’s kingdom and most importantly, about God’s love, she held this voice at bay. The voice continued to pursue her while she begged for its silence. The voice, however, would not be silenced. Refusing to act upon the voice’s request, Hildegard began to experience excruciating pain in her head along with blinding and flashing lights. The priests and doctors knew not how to alleviate her pain. She took to bed, and there she remained for months at a time. In her convalescence, the voices continued. Finally, she relented, asking for paper, quill and ink, and began to record what she heard and saw. Immediately, her pain and the blinding lights ceased. (To learn more about St. Hildegard of Bingen, check out this Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen).
St. Hildegard of Bingen provides the perfect example of what happens when we ignore or deny the gifts God has given us. Her illness was not punishment for denying her gifts and her call, but instead, are the natural consequence of ignoring the voice of God (in her case literally), within us.
Each and every one of us has been uniquely gifted by God and is uniquely called to be a vessel through which God’s love, peace, joy, healing, contentment, guidance and truth are to be revealed in the world. When we take the time to discover, cultivate and eventually share these gifts, we know peace, contentment, fulfillment and joy. When we ignore, suppress, repress, deny these gifts and their call, we experience anxiousness, discontent, frustration, anger, sorrow, and even mental and physical pain – again, not as punishment but as a natural consequence for denying the voice of God within us.
How have you taken time to discover, cultivate and share the gifts God has given you?
How have you suppressed, denied, ignored, repressed the gifts and the call God has given you? What have been the consequences of ignoring God’s voice?
Spiritual Practices – Connecting with Gift
In this week’s spiritual practice, we acknowledge the sacral chakra (the energy center located in the center of our lower abdomen) as the center of creativity. The awareness and call of our creative gifts are housed in this energy center. In this practice, you will engage the “laying on of hands” as a practice for creating a safe space in which your gifts may emerge so that you may begin (or continue) the work of nurturing and cultivating these gifts.
Sit in silence, or with meditative music playing in the background.
Rub your hands together vigorously to stimulate the flow of energy and to create warmth.
Rest your hands, palm down, on your lower abdomen.
Breathe as you keep your hands on your abdomen.
Maintain an intention of safety, openness and allowing as you continue to breathe while resting your hands on your abdomen.
Imagine that you are creating space for your gifts to reveal themselves to you.
Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, images, emotions that may arise as you continue to hold your hands on your abdomen.
Continue this practice for 20-30 minutes.
Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.
In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge fear as the obstacle to living as our most authentic self – the person that God made us to be in the fullness of our human potential. The second spiritual fear – I will not be able to bring forth life that will persist is the specific fear that prevents us from identifying, cultivating and eventually sharing our most authentic self. Through Authentic Freedom, we are reminded of the sacred truth – that each of us is uniquely and creatively gifted by God to be God’s love (peace, joy, guidance, healing, etc.) in the world and that when we discover, cultivate and share this giftedness (in service to the betterment of the world), we experience peace, contentment and fulfillment and the world, in turn, becomes a better place.
In short – what are you waiting for?
Lauri Ann Lumby provides support in helping you to awaken to your gifts and your call, and provides the tools through which you can nurture and be empowered in sharing these gifts. Contact Lauri for a private session (920) 230-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.