This is an excerpt from my Authentic Freedom Weekly Lesson available for basic to premium memberships. To learn more about member benefits, click HERE.
In this week’s letter from Paul to Timothy, we can immediately discard anything exclusionary or rooted in privilege or separation. Jesus was about bringing people together, not tearing them apart. Jesus was about unity, not separation. Jesus did not come to start a new Church – he was trying to remind his community of the truth of Unity and Love hidden within their Jewish tradition.
But, we can embrace the deeper invitation in Paul’s letter – one that speaks to the hearts of many – the deep longing for a quiet and tranquil life – one rooted in contemplation and prayer, simplicity and ease. This is the longing that was explored in this week’s Authentic Freedom Teacher’s Circle gathering and one that draws many to this great work. It is a life drastically different from the life we have been conditioned to receive.
In the Western world, driving, striving, achieving, and doing are greatly favored over quiet tranquility. In fact, we are in danger of being judged as “lazy” for yearning for a gentler life. Quiet, tranquil and gentle are not the means to achievement and success – at least not as the Western world defines success. In our culture, achievement and success are defined by money, power and fame which we are told can only be attained by HARD WORK. You know……lots and lots of doing. We see it everywhere. In our schools. In our work environments. In our families. In our peer groups. On TV. Hard work = success. At least that is the capitalistic lie we’ve been told. Talk to any single parent trying to care for a family of 3 if they are getting rich on their hard work. 9.9 times out of 10, the answer will be NO.
Like those who believe Catholicism holds a monopoly on the Truth (as Paul would have us believe), we’ve been sold a lie. Hard work does not guarantee success. A bigger question arises in this exploration – do we even want success as it is defined by the Western world? If we have to kill ourselves to get there and if killing ourselves through doing doesn’t even guarantee success, is it worth it? For me, and many I know, the answer is no. No amount of driving to succeed is worth the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual cost of all that doing.
Here, Paul was right. We yearn for and have an opportunity to seek after a quiet and tranquil life. As he also hints at, it is in cultivating a quiet and simply life that we can find God. The Kingdom of God about which Jesus spoke can only be found within. We find it in our meditation, contemplation and prayer. We also find it in the simple pleasures of life – a walk in the woods; the meditative acts of gardening, cooking and cleaning; playing with our children; spending time with close friends; and any other activity that allows us to detach from our worries and concerns and find peace in the present moment.
Then here is how we are saved. Not by “proclaiming Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior” or declaring our path as the only path to Truth/God. Instead, salvation is found in those moments of quiet tranquility and where are one within ourselves, one with all around us and in this, One with God. This is the salvation Jesus promised. Right here. Right now. In this lived experience. For those who choose it.
In this, we are not the “chosen ones.” We are the choosing ones.
What are you going to choose?