Awakening to Snowfall; Remember Who You Are

“As you awaken to your Divine nature, you’ll begin to appreciate beauty in everything you see, touch and experience.”  ~ Wayne Dyer

Winter snows have come with a vengeance once again to folks who live up North.  I remember how tired we used to get of scooping, scraping and being trapped inside.  My daughter and I have never been big fans, though I liked it more than she. Then there are people like my son who never weary of it.  His Michigan childhood comes back to life when it snows and just delights in it. He reminds me that there is always something magical about snow.  It has elements of surprise and beauty that we should explore rather than shun.  Within each snowfall are thousands and thousands of unique snowflakes which serve to remind us of who we are.

Our unique self, like a snowflake, will never be duplicated.  The evidence of this is everywhere.  Our DNA is comprised of markers that are arranged only for one person. It never has been and never will be again.  Only you! Even twins don’t have the same DNA. Combination of parents, grandparents and countless generations of ancestors each give us a gift of themselves in the pattern that becomes you.  It took thousands of years to come up with the design for each individual.  Our uniqueness also can be found in fingerprints. Each time we touch something we leave a stamp of our existence behind.  We are here and we are one of a kind.  The mold has been broken.

We have an individual and divine purpose in our uniqueness. The odds of your random creation are so small that it is incomprehensible.  Wayne Dyer talks about the fact that a great wind sweeping through a garbage dump, gathering up all of the pieces and setting them down as a fully assembled Boeing 747 is more likely than the exclusive collection of cells and tissue that is you.  Your importance cannot be understated.  The incredible love story of our Creator is at work here.  Such a miracle can have no other explanation. You are God’s beloved child.  Look at that beautiful snowfall and remember.

All You Need is Love

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“We’ve got the gift of love, but love is like a precious plant.  You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard, or just think it’s gonna get on with itself.  You gotta keep watering it.  You’ve got to really look after it…and nurture it.” ~ John Lennon
Love is perfect.  Even in the cloudy reflection of broken relationships, love blesses us for having experienced it at all.  Our fragile and conditional human expressions of love can cause pangs of regret and worry, but even so, without it we would be lost.  Every time we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and open to the possibilities of love, we are drawing closer to God.  Every time we let go of resentment in favor of forgiveness, we are walking with Gods hand in ours.  Every time we stop to help a child, the Spirit of God is moving in our heart.  Love is not only perfect it is the light that dispels the darknesses which would otherwise destroy us. We are directed to “Love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves.”  This instruction, if truly followed, provides challenges that can keep us on track throughout our lives.  We will be continually transformed.  Everything else falls into place as we love first and foremost.  This is not easy work and requires that, as John Lennon says, we really look after it and nurture it.  We must allow ourselves to be loved as well as to give love.  Love counts us worthy even when we feel unworthy.  It identifies each of us as the beloved child of God.  When we accept this, we will be able to share it with others.  Then, the love we give will be the love we get.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” _builder_version=”3.5.1″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_align=”left” header_font_size=”26px” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”14px” body_line_height=”1.4em” border_radii=”on|1px|1px|1px|1px” border_width_all=”2px” border_color_all=”#d4cfc4″ border_radii_image=”on|29px|29px|29px|29px” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”89%” module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”38px|||” custom_padding=”47px|33px|0px|32px” filter_saturate=”95%” animation_style=”fade” saved_tabs=”all” use_background_color_gradient=”off” background_color_gradient_direction=”180deg” parallax=”off” background_size=”cover” background_position=”center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_blend=”normal” allow_player_pause=”off” background_video_pause_outside_viewport=”on” header_level=”h4″ header_letter_spacing=”0px” header_text_shadow_style=”none” body_letter_spacing=”0px” body_text_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style_image=”none” background_layout=”light” filter_hue_rotate=”0deg” filter_brightness=”100%” filter_contrast=”100%” filter_invert=”0%” filter_sepia=”0%” filter_opacity=”100%” filter_blur=”0px” mix_blend_mode=”normal” child_filter_hue_rotate=”0deg” child_filter_saturate=”100%” child_filter_brightness=”100%” child_filter_contrast=”100%” child_filter_invert=”0%” child_filter_sepia=”0%” child_filter_opacity=”100%” child_filter_blur=”0px” child_mix_blend_mode=”normal” animation_repeat=”once” animation_direction=”center” animation_duration=”1000ms” animation_delay=”0ms” animation_starting_opacity=”0%” animation_speed_curve=”ease-in-out” animation=”off” text_shadow_style=”none” global_module=”26968″] Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation. Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast [/et_pb_team_member][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

God Shows Up

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“God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting. But He does not want to do so. . . . What else is all our work to God—whether in the fields, in the garden, in the city, in the house, in war, or in government—but just such a child’s performance, by which He wants to give His gifts in the fields, at home, and everywhere else? These are the masks of God, behind which He wants to remain concealed and do all things.” ~ Martin Luther

I have been writing and thinking about masks this week.

There are so many psychologists and philosophers who teach of our tendencies to hide behind them.  Carl Jung’s concepts of individuation revolve around the integration of false and true self.  Masks are the symbol of our hiding, pretending, lies and illusions. I have come to believe that there are sacred disguises…human ones, ones presented in the beauty of nature, ones revealed in stars and sky…which are the Masks of God

Martin Luther understood that God interacts with us and shows himself in countless ways beyond our understanding.  G. K. Chesterton wrote a verse about the ‘million masks of God’.  Joseph Campbell told Bill Moyers that the images of God are many.  He called them the masks of eternity that both cover and reveal the Face of Glory. I think this is at the heart of our existence and the center of an experience of being God’s Beloved Child.

God shows up.  I have seen him in the eyes of men and women in a homeless shelter in Asheville.  I have been touched by him on the waiting wall by street kids in Fort Lauderdale.  I have heard his cry in the voices of those who suffer addictive illness.  God is not a remote deity who waits grumpily on a throne of judgment to pounce on our wrongdoings and many sins.

He not only shows up as a vulnerable and broken savior who willingly dies on a cross, but also beckons us to follow him there.  He shows up as ‘angels unawares’ in ancient scripture. He reaches for our steadying hand in the person of our grandchild.  When we are told that God is omnipresent, this is what they are talking about.

The masks of God are everywhere.  Look around.  God show up.  He tells us, in the words of the Prodigal Father to his resentful son; “I am with you always.  Everything I have is yours.”

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

[/et_pb_team_member][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Guided by Another Easter

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Easter shakes us up.

It asks us to let go and let God. Easter reminds us that our lives are not our own. We clearly discover that we are not in charge. God seems to have another idea for us. It is an idea which has little to do with our own plans.

Couldn’t most all of us confirm that we never planned to be exactly who we are and where we are today?

Our passions and dreams are only diminished by the alluring attraction of wealth, power or even by the need for security. When we compromise, put off or set aside the fire in our bellies, the chances are good that it might be reduced to a flickering memory of what-might-have-been.

And so, we trudge ahead, doing what we are expected to do. The terrible consequence is a life lived only on the surface. We arrive at our destination and find there is nobody there to cheer for us. We take nothing with us and finish as a weary traveler. Then we simply disappear into the background.

This is God’s better idea. As Gods exceptional and beloved child, each of us is given special gifts and special powers unique unto ourselves. Every gift and power ignite that little fire which burns as our passion. When we pay attention to this fire it becomes bliss. We are directed by its light through darkness, rain and life storms.

When true to our course, following our bliss and honoring God’s gifts we become enabled to live fully. We become instruments of God’s dream. We arrive at our destination in the embrace of a loving community. We bring all of the accumulated love with us. We are never forgotten.

Easter is a time for renewal and new beginnings. We have a chance to affirm our gifts and to re-ignite our special powers. Easter sets us free. Easter renews us. Easter brings us home.

“When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.” ~ Henri Nouwen

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About the Author
In a career spanning over four decades, Robert Kenneth Jones has been an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration, and meditation.

Links
Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin
Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast