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Sunday, November 18, 2018



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The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness rather than mere survival

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness rather than mere survival

Today’s technology could affect our spiritual growth. People can become so insulated with their cell phones that they are not aware of what is happening in the world around them. They can commune with people from all over the world, but they may miss what’s taking place right in front of them.

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (604-531 BC) once said, “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”

In other words, we become aware of our surroundings and what is happening in our lives and in nature. This is difficult for us to do since we tend to be “action people.” We don’t stop to reflect on what is going on around us. We have a need to “keep busy.”

Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) has a beautiful story that brings out the difference between working to become rich and enjoying life:

The rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find the Southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe.

“Why aren’t you out fishing?” said the industrialist.

“Because I have caught enough fish for the day,” said the fisherman.

“Why don’t you catch some more?”

“What would I do with them?”

“You could earn more money,” was the reply. “With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats, maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.”

“What would I do then?”

“Then you could really enjoy life.”

“What do you think I am doing right now?”

Sometimes we forget why we are working. If we are working so we can have the “best of everything,” then we are “killing ourselves” for nothing. We should work so we can have enough money to live on so we can have time to relax with family and friends, spend time with God, observe nature, reflect on what is happening in our own lives.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) once said, “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.”

Jesus told us the same thing: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns – and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life span?” (Matt 6:25-27)

We are valuable and loved because we are God’s children.

How do we “look at the birds of the fields?”

Deepak Chopra (1947-present) reminds us, “Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.”

In an age of “fake news” where people lie to make their agenda believable, Christians need to reflect more on what is true and what is false.

Jesus told us, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

Jesus’ way will lead us to the truth and real living.

American psychiatrist M. Scott Peck (1936-2005) reminds us, “The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one.”

Enjoy the ride!